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'Dracula: Mina’s Reckoning' Brings Dracula Back to Aberdeen

By Willow Daymond

Rating: 5/5

Slains Castle, believed to be the inspiration for Dracula's Castle. Image: Brendan Campbell on flickr*

Dracula: Mina's Reckoning is a new play by The National Theatre of Scotland and Aberdeen Performing Arts written by Morna Pearson and directed by Sally Cookson. The play debuted at the start of September and will be on tour sound Scotland, Coventry and Liverpool until the 28th of October.

The play is a reimaging of Dracula that is perfect for modern audiences. It combines the original dark, horrific story with beautiful characters and great humour. Instead of using the book’s setting, the play is set in Victorian Aberdeenshire, mainly taking place in an 1897 psychiatric hospital. It opens with Mina arriving at the hospital and telling the other patients her story through letters and through the journals of Jonathan Harker, her friend who travelled to Transylvania to meet Dracula. The play’s new location allows audience members to see deeper into the story of Dracula, enhancing the original text. Danielle Jam (Mina) and Liz Kettle (Dracula) are superb as the leads of the play. They are dynamic and command the stage, drawing you in completely and making you feel as if you are a part of their world.

Mina’s Reckoning also gave us the gift of bringing Dracula’s story back to Aberdeen. Stoker visited Aberdeenshire many times throughout his life and it is said that he took inspiration from Slain’s Castle in Cruden Bay in order to create Dracula’s Castle in the book. Aberdeenshire (although often unrecognised) is one of the inspirations behind Stoker’s novel. The play acknowledges this, both by having the main location of the play be Aberdeenshire and also by having the characters speak in Scots, which pays homage to the original character of Redfield who spoke Scots in Stoker’s original work.

Overall, this play is a stunning reinterpretation of Dracula. It will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire play. The clever use of set design and staging perfectly complements and enhances the performances. I would give this play a rating of 5/5.

If you’re interested in adaptations of Dracula but are unable to catch the final showings of Mina’s Reckoning, then I encourage you to take a look at some other great adaptations of the story. I would highly recommend the Murray Mysteries podcast, available on all podcast sites. It also repositions the Dracula story to have Mina as the main character, only this adaptation takes place in the modern day. Or, if you are interested in another form of Dracula, I must recommend Dracula Daily, a free newsletter you can sign up for that will send you letters from the Dracula novel every day.

*CC by-ND 2.0 Attribution NoDerivs 2.0 Generic:


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