There are few monsters so intrinsically linked with horror as Nosferatu, although the name more often calls to mind cinematic chills rather than literary thrills, thanks to the iconic F.W. Murnau film ‘Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror’
The latest theatrical production of 'Nosferatu', from theatre company Proper Job, may share the same name – but don’t be expecting Max Schreck’s spindle-fingered ghoul of the 1922 film.
Instead, the play is based on a scant four pages of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ in which the vampire travels hidden in the cargo of the ship Demeter. However, artistic director James Beale is keen to emphasise that their monster will be its own beast:
‘It’s not Count Dracula and it’s not Count Orlock,' he says. '‘This is our own Nosferatu, the night-stealer, the unseen monster, the person who is effectively fear. We think that journey is incredibly theatrical. Three sailors, something’s in the hold, people are dying around us and the dawn never seems to come.’
From a script by acclaimed poet Ian McMillan, Nosferatu will be the first in a trilogy of monster plays and a peek at the strikingly expressionistic set of Nosferatu reveals just how creepy the production promises to be.
‘It’s very hard to do fear on stage,’ admits James. ‘It’s much easier to scare people with film, because you can suspend your disbelief, but hopefully this play will be scary. You can judge for yourself.’
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