August 9, 2017
For The Untold Story of the 1929-’31 Dracula Stage Tour “Down Under”, Aussie writer Daniel Best unearths some fascinating little-known facts on the subject, and his painstaking endeavors to piece together as many as possible of the various scattered pieces of the puzzle that still remain in existence go far in helping the reader envision how these now-largely-forgotten stagings of Dracula in Australia might have been.
Interspersed throughout with reproductions of original vintage newspaper advertisements and articles, plus many more seldom-seen images besides, Best’s text is illustrated with as much visual material as could be found all these many decades-indeed, the better part of a century!-after the fact.
Using the text as a guideline, combined with the precious few and therefore all-the-more priceless images depicting scenes from performances of it, readers should have little difficulty in visualizing the play in at least some limited form in their mind’s eyes; at least enough to give them an inkling of an idea about how this production-largely since long-lost amidst the hazy mists of time-may have looked. In addition, this book contains information pertaining to numerous other stage productions of Dracula performed in Australia since Ashton Jarry first trod the boards there in 1929, resplendent in full vampiric regalia… albeit sans any fangs, but complete with pointy “Spock” ears!
As a record of an only-sparsely-documented piece of theatrical history, Australian Gothic amounts to an indispensable read for both theatre and vampire enthusiasts-and more specifically, Dracula buffs-alike.