An ancient creature, embittered by the burden of immortality and the intolerance of those who would decry him monster. Alone in his keep, but for the memories of centuries past. A living death that only a vampire could understand. Or perhaps a special guest or two. Providing they can live long enough to survive their host's unique hospitality and his deliberate attempts to drive them insane.
Based on the bone-chilling works of Bram Stoker, "Dracula's Guest" takes you into the dark heart of Victorian horror to reveal the very meaning of terror and the consequences of collective evil and personal spite.
WINNER: THE HAMILTON DEANE AWARD
The Dracula Society, 2022
WINNER: OFFCOMM COMMENDATION
Off West End Awards, 2022
Recommended for ages 12+ (Includes scenes of a violent and bloody nature).
"A HAUNTING PRODUCTION... What is fascinating about this version of events, is the unique perspective of Dracula - in a way, he is a victim in his own right... Despite the clear evil radiating off Dracula, through him, we learn what it means to be harmed and to thus cause harm in return... This play is not for the faint of heart, as it is deeply uncomfortable at times - though that is what makes it so wonderful... This fascinating play is perfect for those looking for a Bram Stoker reinterpretation or for a dark psychological exploration of loss, revenge, and death."
~Kashmini Shah, VOICE MAGAZINE
"Hyland, commands and dominates the stage from the beginning. His powerful beguiling voice has you jumping in your seats on many occasions... The strong physical performance between Hyland and Spear was breathtaking at times... Sitting in the front row there was a genuine feeling of unease when Hyland came too close. It’s extremely unlikely he would have broken the fourth wall and spoken to the audience directly but the energy and tension levels were running high from his performance as Dracula that anything would have been possible. Adapted and directed by Hyland as well it is evident throughout the performance that he understands every twist and turn that is taken."
~Elaine Chapman, THEATRE, FILMS AND ART REVIEWS
"Hyland is magnificent and terrifying. His voice ranges from soft cajoling to what a musician would call a subito fortissimo and he does it repeatedly so that neither you, the audience member, or Renfield within the play can relax for a second. He is a very dangerous man (or something) and the dramatic tension is sharply arresting... The synergy between these two actors, as they spar around each other in what is effectively a power struggle, is what drives this fine show. Moreover I have rarely seen a more convincing account of on-stage insanity building to a manic climax than Spear's work here."
~Susan Elkin, SARDINES MAGAZINE
"Both actors gave vocally flawless and emotively rich performances... James Hyland’s Dracula is perfectly extravagant with a veneer that masks his emptiness but enough emotion to hint at his former living self. His calculating nature is disguised by a dangerously charming front... His intensity and ferocity is terrifying, even in silence it is concentrated in his sharp, devious eyes. Ashton Spear's Renfield is morally robust and stubborn. Shaking and disturbed throughout as Dracula gaslights him, Renfield is tortured as he doubts or defends himself. The two orchestrate this claustrophobic power dynamic excellently. Renfield’s transformation was gripping and intense and felt strangely intrusive to watch. It was horrific but mesmerising... This play is politically relevant with fascinating psychological aspects and is a brilliantly clever, albeit disturbing take on a classic."
~Riana Howarth, NORTH WEST END UK
"James Hyland has reawakened this somewhat neglected tale, using it as a vessel to explore modern-day themes... We see Dracula – played terrifically by James Hyland... delivering a 124-year-old tale as if it were new. This was the perfect choice of story to breathe new life into, applicable to modern-day themes yet true to Victorian gothic horror."
~Eloise Lonsdale, OX MAGAZINE
"THE GODFATHER of vampire adaptations. Unique, powerful and timely with thrilling performances by two actors at the top of their game. Absolutely unmissable."
~Mark Carter, BRITISH THEATRE JOURNAL
"This was the first time I've seen a bald, stocky, loquacious Dracula, but it worked!... This is a very well-written and acted piece which holds the attention throughout"
~Martin Dowsing, THE AUDIENCE CLUB
"Excellent performances... the most intense 55 minutes of drama you’re ever likely to encounter."
~Julia Kruk, THE DRACULA SOCIETY
"An INCREDIBLE performance... 55 minutes of nerve-shredding suspense and a final scene that's guaranteed to shock you out of your seat and give you nightmares for weeks. This diabolical descent into Victorian Gothic horror is a must-see."
~Peter Fuller, VINCENT PRICE LEGACY UK
"Dracula’s Guest is a pretty powerful slab of theatre... the two protagonists steadily ratcheted up their performance to transform an intriguing victim/captor conversation piece into an extraordinarily violent physical drama with strong homo-erotic overtones as it reached its bloody conclusion. We give it a 666/666 so go see it while you can."
~SIMON'S HORRIBLE HOTHOUSE OF HORROR
"Unlike the short story written by Bram Stoker, we are taken on a psychological journey... There is sword play, and plenty of surprises, and some clever effects in this production... We really enjoyed it... and when you see the abuse poor Renfield gets, you begin to feel sorry for him! The man must be black and blue by the end of the day. Do keep any eye out for it."
~Des Bradley, VOICES FROM THE VAULTS
"a wildly vicious and vindictive vamp, taunting and teasing his Guest as he spiralled further into insanity. The characters generated feelings in the audience from shock to disgust, and occasional sympathy for both... I found the premise fascinating... The ending came with a truly terrifying twist that few expected... A thoroughly enjoyable hour. Heartily recommended!"