'Nosferatu' Revisted


Dracula, Vampires, Practice as Research, Refugee, Documentary/Verbatim Theatre.


In 2014 I set out to adapt and direct a new stage production entitled Nosferatu The Undead based on the Dracula fable. My research enquiry focussed on the question of how to approach such a classic while avoiding the stereotypes and clichés that have accrued with this seminal work. I critically reflect here on the processes involved in writing the play script and then rehearsing the performance. This is an ethnographic account and is based on participant observation where the artist participates but also steps back to document and analyse practice. In order that such a case study has multiple voices that inform the narrative I refer to commentary from the actors who played Dracula and Lucy respectively. I also relate my research query to other theatre practitioner’s approaches to staging classics and discuss how a documentary/verbatim theatre approach can politicise such a work as Dracula. In analysing rehearsal I consider the paradox of overcoming cinematic realism for an expressive form of acting while still referencing cinematic tropes. This discussion is contextualised within a Practice as Research (PaR) framework which advocates that creative practice itself constitutes research and leads to awareness of the processes of making art.

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