The Wicked Lit Halloween Theatre Festival’s 2014 show includes plays inspired by The Monk, La Lloronas, and Dracula’s Guest. The latter is a short story by Bram Stoker, published after the author’s death, that purports to be the deleted first chapter of the novel Dracula (though inconsistencies suggest it was more likely an abandoned first draft). Wicked Lit has released some preview photos, which indicate their adaptation strays considerably from the source.
In Stoker’s short story, the unnamed narrator (presumably Jonathan Harker from the novel) loses his way in a snowstorm, wanders into a tomb apparently inhabited by a female vampire, loses consciousness when a lightening bolt blows the tomb to pieces, and wakes in the freezing cold to find himself guarded by a massive wolf. Harker is discovered by a rescue team, summoned by a letter from Count Dracula, expressing concern that his guest may have become lost.
Taking place before Harker reaches Transyvania and meets the Count, “Dracula’s Guest” offers more portent than climax, setting the stage for the action to follow. The sinister suggestion is that the narrator was saved from his close brush with death by a guardian angel – though in this case the “angel” was probably Dracula himself, who wanted to keep Harker alive until their business dealings could be concluded. (One imagines the wolf was Dracula in lupine form.)
Wicked Lit seems to have used the story as a jumping off point for a traditional vampire tale, filled with the genre elements fans expect: fangs, crosses, and sultry undead seductresses. Looks like fun!
Wicked Lit’s Halloween 2014 season begins on Thursday, October 2. The address is Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery, 2300 Marengo Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001. Call 818 242 7910 for more info, or check out their website.