"Hysterical, campy fun!"
- Tony Brown, cleveland.com

"Full of suspense, romance, drama and lots of laughs!"

- Dan Shaurette, Out of the Coffin podcast

This extraordinary one-act drama deftly explores the evolution of the centuries-old vampire myth.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nodier's THE VAMPIRE

This weekend I read THE VAMPIRE, an 1820 stage adaptation by Charles Nodier of Polidori's short story. Interesting, just to show the popularity of Polidori's work, this stage adaptation appeared just one year after the story debuted in 1819.

The adaptation I read was traslated by Frank J. Morlock (good name) in 2000. I am assuming the original script was in French, and given my basic knowledge of 19th century gothic horror plays, Mr. Morlock did his part making the play more palatable to a modern audience. Having said that, it still shares a great deal of the style of the period.

Adaptating a story into a play can be challenging - THE VAMPYRE (short story) goes everywhere, from Britain to Greece and back, with stops in between. THE VAMPIRE (play) takes place more or less in one room, or at least various rooms a single castle. That which occured prior to the events of the play are provided in the character's exposition, with some pieces of information coming out with a great deal of surprise, even for someone familir with the original tale.

In fact, I was surprised overall at how successful an adaptation I thought it was. Aubrey seems much more sure of himself in the play, a confident would-be hero, Ruthven (here called 'Rutwen') is far too much of the stagey villain near the end of the play, though he is marvellously suave and seductive at the start.

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