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Why you need to see Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning at Liverpool Playhouse

9 months ago

Why you need to see Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning at Liverpool Playhouse
Dracula: Mina's Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic

Miss this fantastic contemporary retelling of Dracula at your own peril!

Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning opened at Liverpool Playhouse last night, October 24, and we got the chance to go and see it.

Brought to us by National Theatre of Scotland and Aberdeen Performing Arts in association with Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, the show retells the horror classic in a way that is contemporary, powerful, and provides an intriguing look at how women where, and are, viewed in society.

Dracula: Mina's Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic
Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic

Morna Pearson’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s timeless novel is not intended for those faint of heart.

Infused with wit, this stunning gothic rendition relocates the story to the Scottish backdrop of Aberdeenshire where Mina reCOUNTs her time with the iconic Vampire, inside a psychiatric hospital in 1897.

In a departure from tradition, an ensemble cast comprising of all women and non-binary performers offers a compelling portrayal of Mina’s journey, exploring themes of addiction, fascination, and her path to empowerment.

In the original story Mina is the wife of solicitor Jonathan Harker, and is often overlooked. We get the chance to see Mina, played by Danielle Jam, take the lead in bringing about the end of the blood-sucking monster.

Dracula: Mina's Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic
Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic

Throughout the performance, subtle nuances provide the audience with moments of comic relief, highlighting the societal categorisation of women and the challenging notion that they often found themselves excluded from roles as heroes. The show flips this on its head with Mina as the main protagonist, and with Dracula offering the vampire’s eternal life to those who crave a cure against the patriarch.

Liz Kettle, who plays Dracula, is nothing short of exemplary. She commands the stage flawlessly and has you drawn in with every word… just like you would expect from the Transylvanian beast.

Dracula: Mina's Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic
Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic

It is brilliantly funny, and just as terrifying at the same time, Kettle gets the best jump scares that will have you shaking in your seats. Popping up at points throughout the show as though some kind of supernatural force is at work.

The set is STUNNING. It mirrors a labyrinth that is in keeping with Castle Dracula, and the psychiatric hospital perfectly. The stage is able to reach a full blackout behind the twisted levels which allows the actors to appear as if from nowhere.

Projectors add an extra layer of detail into the piece showing us the writings of Mina’s, Jonathan’s and Abraham Van Helsing’s journal, as well as the rush of blood when a vampire catches their prey.

Dracula: Mina's Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic
Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning. Photo credit Mihaela Bodlovic

The show is beautifully written and the actors do it more than justice. The characters share a desire that rivals Dracula’s insatiable thirst. While Dracula yearns for blood, these women and non-binary persons yearn to escape their oppressive patriarchal confines. Trapped by societal constraints, their mental anguish is palpable, reminiscent of an asylum’s bleak setting.

Just like Dracula, they want for a taste of life itself, and the vampire is their way to get it!

The show is running now until Saturday 28 October, do not miss out on this amazing show.

To book your tickets for Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning click HERE.

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