As the 13th Hour Horror Festival begins its righteous rampaging run we talk to director Adam Morley the man behind the show that started the horrific proceedings off Dracula. This visually stunning and faithful adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic chiller is produced by the Scifan Corporation and AlleyKat and has been bringing in audiences since the start of its run.
With more shows to go and tickets still on sale right Here we talk to Adam about his amazing cast including Primeval star Andrew Lee Potts and Scream Queen Charlie Bond, bringing Stokers classic to the stage and much much more.
Love Horror: How did you get involved with the 13th Hour Horror Festival?
Adam Morley: I have previously worked with AlleyKat and The Leicester Square Theatre and when they mentioned that they were going to start the 13th Hour festival I had already been developing Dracula as a stage play for my company The Scifan Corporation and the timing was perfect to include our first show in the very first 13th Hour Horror festival.
Love Horror: How did you go about transferring Bram Stoker’s classic into a stage script?
Adam Morley: With painstaking detail!!! I read then re read and re re read the book …made artistic choices based on the space it was being performed the budget (all that boring but vital stuff) and decided what characters and events could be removed or amalgamated to produce the best version of the narrative. After this I hired a writer (Michael Kenneth Stewart) and he wrote a version of the story changing some of the narrative to fit within our production and allow us to perform as fast paced and exciting story…We have changed the end for dramatic effect (Don’t worry Dracula still gets his comeuppance) and removed the chase back to Transylvania as it took a long time to develop and wold make the play too long. Sorry Mr Stoker.
Love Horror: What do you think it is about Stoker’s story that has not only inspired so many TV, film and stage adaptations but has also managed to last such a long time?
Adam Morley: As well as Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmela…Dracula was truly unique in its time…The story has endured because it is simply entertaining, with great charismatic characters and a fascinating legend that has born so many different vampire tales. Being that Stokers masterpiece is the father of the modern vampire it is no surprise that it has endured and flourished.
Love Horror: What are some of the challenges of directing horror theatre as opposed to other genres?
Adam Morley: Creating fear and tension is harder than anything I have directed to date. I have directed psychological thrillers before (Veronicas Room by Ira Levine who wrote Rosemary’s Baby for Baroque Theatre Company) but it is all about sound…and creating the anticipation via sound and blocking on stage. Also bearing in mind that Dracula is so well known its hard to re invent the wheel and so I have worked on developing great sound design and a frantic exciting pace though the show, keeping our audience entertained and excited.
Love Horror: You have an amazing cast including Andrew Lee Potts and Charlie Bond, tell us more about them all?
Adam Morley: Fifty Percent of getting a show right is in the casting. In this instance I had already asked most of the cast to be in the show previously and only auditioned for one role! The cast are amazing and have shown a huge amount of commitment, energy and passion for the project. They all have wonderful experience and bring the characters to life in a very poignant and vibrant way…I couldn’t have asked for more from this very talented team.
Love Horror: What do you think about the current cinematic state of vampires post-Twilight versus Stoker’s original vampire vision?
Adam Morley: As with all things there should be a natural evolution. Star trek the original series to the various next generations. Vampires go in phases of popularity…in the 90’s there was Interview with and Coppelas Dracula…then more recent Twilight and True Blood evolutions….These changes very much reflect changes in story telling style in Film and Television. And the idea of Vampires and sex has always been prevalent , now its more blatant then before to allow for younger audiences…Dracula is the father of it all and stands on its own against any of the New Versions as they all owe themselves in large part to Dracula…so believe they all complement each other.
Love Horror: Who is your favourite film Dracula and why?
Adam Morley: Gary Oldman….He played it with such commitment and style.
Love Horror: What do you have planned next after Dracula?
Adam Morley: Hopefully a tour of Dracula! But ill also be directing War of the Worlds, 20,000 Leagues under the Sea and a new play version of a very famous Horror Writers book. Cant say what yet…but keep tuned its going to be exciting.
Dracula is part of the 13th Hour Horror Festival and you can take a look at the whole line up of what’s on right Here.