Countdown to Halloween – Dracula the second part now live online

The second part of the BBC new version of Dracula is now available to listen to Here

“Bram Stoker wrote it in the late 19th century, having been both a civil servant and the personal manager of actor Sir Henry Irving. No doubt he was as much informed by the metaphorical blood-sucking propensities of governments and actor managers as by Vlad the Impaler, legendary 15th-century Wallachian king said to be his original inspiration. Most of us have grown up with Count Dracula, recognising him even when he craftily spells his name backwards in Hammer horror films. We know this monster as well as we know our uncles. We have learned what to do when someone sleeps all day in a coffin or mirrors don’t hold his reflection. Hand me a crucifix, get the garlic, pass the stake.

It is, therefore, a challenge to any adaptor to make Dracula scary again. Writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz did well here. Actor Nicky Henson did even better. His Count guzzled blood with the kind of lipsmacking relish only heard on Woman’s Hour when some visiting cook is handing round fresh chocolate cake. He even made it sexy. But so did his victim, lovely Lucy (Scarlett Brookes), longing for the next visit of the demon lover she calls the man bird, the Earl King, the dream. Lucy is adored by shy Dr Seward (Charles Edwards), engaged to handsome Arthur (Joe Sims), watched over by canny Dr Van Helsing (John Dougall) all of whom transfuse her with blood when she is reduced to waxen pallor by nightly visits from the Count. She tries to resist him. In vain.” Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph

 

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