A SOUTH Shields playwright is staking his reputation on a spooky new creation. Ed Waugh has penned vampire spoof Dracula: Die Laughing. VICKI NEWMAN found out more about the show.
DRACULA is the most famous horror character in the world – and an inspiration for countless books, films and TV shows.
Every Halloween, you’ll see children and adults alike dressed in black capes with plastic fangs covering their teeth and fake blood dripping from their chins, and the character has been re-worked time and time again.
The latest Dracula-inspired tale comes from South Shields playwright Ed Waugh.
Ed, who wrote the likes of Dirty Dusting and Maggie’s End with partner Trevor Wood, has created Dracula: Die Laughing.
The play is set at the Whitby Goth Festival, where it will be performed next year.
He said: “A friend of mine went to the Goth Festival last year, and there’s about 12,000 people who go every year. He came back saying he’d had a brilliant time and that we should go.
“I said I’d go but that I’d write a play to take with me. The show is set at the Whitby Goth Festival, where Dracula is hiding and trying to blend in. He’s old now and his teeth and hair are falling out and he just can’t really be bothered with things any more.
“Dracula is a great story but people think it’s just about the fight between good and evil when it’s so much more.”
He added: “I wrote it and it was about 50 minutes long. Gareth Hunter, who’s directing the show, suggested it could be drawn out into two 45-minute acts. The cast is just brilliant and under Gareth’s direction, I’m sure it’s going to be a great show.
“But the thing I’ve been most impressed by has been the response from local businesses.
“Jess McConnell from Jarrow Brewery gave us rehearsal space and is letting us stage it in some of his pubs.
“We wanted a small, comedy club-style feel to the shows before going to the Goth Festival.Durham and Sunderland universities have been very supportive.”
The show stars South Shields-based actor Paul Dunn in the title role, and fellow local thespians Corrine Kilvington, Lauren Waine, and Craig Richardson, who each take on a number of different roles.
Gareth, of Shields-based Ion Productions, said: “The show is a spoof in some respects. It’s not Dracula in his prime but when he’s a bit past it.
“He’s not interested in chasing maidens and drinking their blood any more. He’s broken into a blood bank and stocked up on supplies and he’s hiding out at the Whitby Goth Festival.
“The show is quite similar to The 39 Steps in that we’ve got Paul who plays the one character and the others play a number of different people.
“There’s a bit of audience interaction too though, so it has a bit of a panto feel to it. We’re encouraging people to come along in fancy dress and get in the spirit of Halloween.
“The cast really are brilliant and the show is looking great. I’ve got to say thank you to Phaze Clothing for that, because they’ve donated all the costumes and they look great.”
n Dracula: Die Laughing is at Collingwood College, Durham University, on Tuesday, October 29, then Magnesia Bank pub, North Shields, on Wednesday, October 30, followed by a run at the Isis pub, in Sunderland city centre, from Thursday, October 31, to Saturday, November 2.
All shows start at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £8 (£5 concessions) and are available from the venues or through the Dracula: Die Laughing Facebook site.
The show is suitable for those aged 14 and over. This is a limited North East run before the show goes to the Whitby Goth Festival in April.