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Dracula performance set to take centre stage

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Published on 03 May 2018

Dracula - as you have never seen before
Dracula - as you have never seen before

Audiences are set for a horror spectacle when they walk through Newcastle’s famous City Keep while watching a play of a literary classic.

 University of Sunderland drama graduate Kylie Archer is directing a unique adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that will also take audiences on a horror journey through the ancient building.

 Kylie, along with co-director Tom Hagel, a third year Film and Media student, needed special permission from the City of Newcastle to host the promenade-style performance in the Keep.

 For three nights in May, audience members will watch the gothic classic interpreted in a unique, movement-based style.

 Tom, who also stars in the show as protagonist Jonathan Harker, says the performance presented the company with some unique challenges.

 The 24-year-old said: “We have obviously had to adapt things to make sure the scenes fitted within the rooms of the Keep.

 "When the audience is moving from room to room, there will be some lighting to make sure they do so safely, the lights will go out when they are static.

 “This is the first walk-through style play we have put on and we have had to take a lot more things into consideration compared to a seated production.”

 Dracula will be performed between Wednesday, 23 May and Saturday, 26 May.


The performance is being produced by the Broken Mask company which was formed when Tom and Kylie, 24, from Gateshead, met at the University of Sunderland.

 For their latest production the pair were keen to find a unique location and, once they had secured the Keep, the decision to perform Dracula seemed a natural one.

 Kylie, who graduated last year and works part time as an English tutor while directing her plays, said: “Dracula is a beautiful piece of gothic horror and, from a director’s point of view, doing it in this style has proved a challenge – but one we have really enjoyed.”

 The production is made up of 10 cast members and will be performed between 6.30pm and 10.30pm each night.

 For more information about tickets, visit here

The production is being Supported by the University of Sunderland's Enterprise Place. 

The Internships and Enterprise project is receiving up to £2,207,656 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

‌The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. ‌Established by the European Union, European Regional Development Fund funds help local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.