At the Curve Theatre in Leicester, I was mesmerised by a tremendous performance by a graceful cast. An eerie display, with next-to-no words, it was enticing. From the opening act, through to the end. Tension risen high – with the anticipation of what will happen next! Who knew a production of so little words can deliver such a chilling and powerful performance? The Mark Bruce Company has established their passion for being in the limelight. And they are here to entertain – with their work on the Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula. With stunning use of lighting to convey weather effects and tension, they utilised their every set of tools at hand to produce this spectacle.
The show started with a heart-pounding moment of Dracula – running through the woods, being guided with wolves at his disposal. Before slowly coming to a graveyard, where a woman begged for him to hang back the bag – with what was assumably a child inside! Horrifying, dramatic and despicable; creating a character profile swiftly for us to marvel in the powerful vampire. Not long after – with the woman shrieking in terror and pain from the wolves being allowed to feed on her, we were met with the three brides of Dracula. Threatened by his presence, but worship him. A demonstration of the fear he has installed into other. Moving on, into a more lively world, other characters take the stage. Mina and Jonathan Harker – the happy couple who’s love shines brighter than the light. After a heartfelt goodbye, Jonathan departs. And Mina is left alone – comforted by her friend, Lucy Westenra.
With Jonathan departing on a journey and mingling with locals, suspicion arises when he details his journey to the villagers. Fearing his own fate, they pray for him as Jonathan departs. Back at the homestead, Lucy is being wooed by men; all who entertain her, before proposing. All fleeing, until the Lord finally stays with her. The unsuccessful Doctor and Priest previous move on, but still remain nearby. Jonathan meets a sticky demise; being tormented and succumbs to wounds he receives from the three Brides of Dracula. The narrative continues with energy being deployed at high levels. Without going into too much detail of the story, it all tied in together wonderfully. All leading to an exciting climax, making the two hour performance worth every moment.
Aesthetically pleasing – there were moments when the lights were dimmed with a different filter to give a nostalgic television show, to perfectly compliment the music played alongside the show. The performance had a few humorous moments to lighten the mood in the serious setting, that allowed a chuckle from the audience to be heard. The choreography of this performance was fantastic! The nimble actors drove the narrative forward using their talent. The swift redesigns of the stage allowed for flawless movement into the following scenes. And then the steady flow of narrative continued without hesitation – professionalism at it’s finest.
As a first time theatre goer, I was not sure of what to expect. But after what I watched, I have been caught by the theatre bug. The Mark Bruce Company had made an astonishing demonstration of the talents and actors they have employed. The end of the show was met with a barrage of well-deserved round of applause from the audience. Filling the theatre room with an echo of cheers.