Nosferatu, Dunstan Playhouse, 2K

The classic tale of Nosferatu was reimagined for modern audiences by Polish writer/director Grzegorz Jarzyna. This minimalist reworking brings Bram Stoker’s classic gothic novel into the 21st century.

The set at the Dunstan Playhouse was marvellously designed, a large, malleable performing space allowed for a series of environments to come to life. The lighting worked with this to marvellously create a dark and mysterious milieu.

Unfortunately the placement and speed of the English subtitles was lacking. This prevented true engagement into scenes as the audience would be forced to look away from the stage or await the arrival of the next segment of text.

Unlike Stoker’s original tale, the characters are not easily classed into ‘good’ and ‘evil’. There is a large middle ground. The resulting ‘grey’ characters fail to fully engage the audience by remaining frustratingly ambivalent towards one another. Many of the characters are under developed and the plot never fully explained. A deep analysis of Stokers original novel seems to be the prerequisite for viewing.

The deliberate slow pace of the play did little to add to the suspense or horror of the performance, the lumbering steps of Nosferatu seemed more foolish than fear inflicting. Meanwhile many characters simply stood on stage or wandered aimlessly throughout the performance. While there were humorous portions, the overarching feeling was neither one of comedy nor horror but instead of confusion.


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