Davies High takes on ‘Dracula’ and leaves us thirsting for more
“Dracula” is a show I had no expectations for. Having never read the novel, and not being a fan of scary or occult things, I dove feet first into Transylvania. The poster came with a warning for mature audiences only and that piqued my interest.
What was I walking into if there had to be an age warning?
Taking our seats, my friend and I noticed there was quite a bit of smoke filling the air. It felt a little heavy-handed and at times, it was too thick to see through from the fifth row.
However, it easily created the spooky atmosphere that the director and ensemble were going for. It had no repugnant smell and was not humid, which were both big pluses in my book.
One thing that was troubling was the lack of diction at times. When multiple characters would speak at once, it felt chaotic and overwhelming. Although that could have been the intent, I felt a little on the outs.
I feel that I missed out on a lot of necessary information and important lines. Thankfully, there were enough context clues that I could keep up with the storyline easily.
I will say that I personally could have done without the wooden stake through the heart and severed body part bits. As I said, I don’t care to be scared so that one is more of a personal taste thing for me than anything else.
Ultimately, the way it was done was clever, although it made me feel a little sick. But the most shocking part was when an actual Satanic representation of Dracula graced the stage.
The makeup and costuming were incredible; I just felt like I was in an online horror story. The ones where someone hears or sees something and an awful feeling comes over them. Not to say that the performance was horrible, it was just so well done that it threw me for a loop.
Davies’ technical crew should be very proud of themselves. The simple and plain set pieces allowed them many options for each scene. This functions well when you’re working with a smaller space such as a raised platform.
It also helps to have things that can work for multiple locations and gives the freedom of an uncomplicated backstage area. There are fewer things to trip over in the dark of the wings, but the audience still gets the full picture.
Overall, “Dracula” was a show that will live on forever, unless you’ve got some garlic and a wooden stake. Although at times I was uncomfortable, it had more to do with the material itself than the performance.
The fact that the performance was able to make me uncomfortable shows the dedication and spirit that the Davies’ theatre team put into this production. Be proud Davies–just leave the light on and hold your rosaries tight for when Dracula comes in the middle of the night.