In 1819 a story called The Vampyre was published, in which the creature who traditionally looked like a hobbit and lived down a mole hole was refashioned as a melancholy aristocrat in riding boots and frock coat. The authorship was attributed to Lord Byron but The Vampyre was in fact the product of Byron’s physician, a troubled and troublesome scamp called John Polidori.
Archaeologists in Turkey have uncovered a secret tunnel, storage rooms, a military shelter, and two dungeons during restoration work on Tokat Castle, where Vlad III the Impaler, who served as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s character Dracula, is believed to have been held captive in the early 15th century.
In his production of Dracula for Northern Ballet, choreographer-director David Nixon gives us the vampire as hard-bodied sex symbol. Indeed, our first sight of Dracula (Javier Torres) is when he climbs, stark naked, from his coffin. Elsewhere, wringing every last nuance of erotic metaphor from Bram Stoker’s text, Nixon gives us lashings of gothic coupling to a sinister Schnittke score. This is not a ballet which gives you time for reflection; it cracks through the story at breakneck pace, cutting from scene to scene with cinematic fluency.
A rare manuscript for a stage production of Dracula written by Bram Stoker himself is to go on display at the British Library.
The medieval town of Sighisoara in the heart of Transylvania is breathtakingly beautiful. Its narrow, cobbled streets, its brightly coloured houses, the atmospheric square dominated by an imposing clock tower seem to have emerged straight from the pages of a fairy tale.
Former minister for finance Ernest Blythe who, in a previous era of austerity, cut the old-age pension still found public funds to translate Dracula into Irish, it has emerged.
Deliberately slow-paced as if stuck in a permanent nightmare – Werner Herzog’s homage to F.W. Murnau’s 1922 German expressionist horror is richly textured and heavily stylised, even pestilence and the walking dead briefly unite for a dance macabre whilst certain doom looms over the town of Wismar.