A Female Renfield? Wish I’d thought of that!
Here you can read a review of a new, sexed-up, spiffy stage play version of DRACULA. The reviewer calls it “a horror show of delight” and “a spine-tingling, bone-rattling, heart attack-inducing frightmare which took place on and off the stage.” Sounds cool. I’m sure I would enjoy it.
Then there’s this: “In what seemed like a Zeitgeist nod to 2018’s Me Too movement, the image of a young, black woman defeating a powerful man with the words ‘I will not submit to you’ could not have been more relevant for a text written in 1897.” They had a black woman playing Mina? Curious. Oh, and then there’s this: “…lunatic Lady Renfield (Cheryl Campbell) stole the show with her glittering cape and mouse-eating antics.” A FEMALE Renfield. Interesting, indeed.
While it sounds like the FX budget for this production was way bigger than what I had to work with, I have to be honest, here. I have to call it. Everything they did, I did, too. And I did it FIRST.
My original play DRACULA: LORD OF THE VAMPIRES was staged last November. And before that, in 2011. We had a more sexed-up production. (I had audience members walk out, offended, although to be fair it could have been the baby-eating rather than the sexiness that offended them.) I had a black actress playing the part of Mina. And my own lovely wifey appeared as a female Renfield, managing to snag a couple of awards for her performance in the process.
Hey, I don’t begrudge the folks in this new Dracula play anything. Dracula, both the novel and the character, are in the public domain. I’m just sayin’, I got there first.
By the way, if you belong to a Theatre group or company and you’re interested in performing DRACULA: LORD OF THE VAMPIRES, hit me up. I used to let it be staged royalties-free, in exchange for the publicity. These days I charge a small fee, as my work has become slightly more in-demand. But I’ll still let you have performance rights for cheaper than you’d have to pay one of the major publishing houses. Just sayin’.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!