Hans Andersen’ s Dark Musings From A Discarded Christmas Tree

I have been reading Hans Andersen’s unsettling account of a Christmas fir tree that feels pain. I was reminded of this story last year when I came across Lars Ostenfeld’s beautifully sad and poignant adaptation of  The Fir Tree (Danish: Grantræet) on the BBC iPlayer. I  do not think you will ever contemplate your tree in the same way again following these dark musings.

The tale was first published with ‘The Snow Queen’ on 21st December 1844. The story is narrated by the tree itself (which appeals to my botanical sensibilities) and like all of Andersen’s tales there is an emphasis on physical pain and suffering. The tree is vain and so impatient to grow up that it cannot live in the moment because it expects a greater glory. When it is pulled up for a Christmas tree its life is subject to the whim of the humans whose admiration it craves. They profess to love it dressing it with candles before depriving it of light and discarding it on a fire. The tree is entirely sentient and like the tale’s creator is afflicted with a melancholy sensitivity. It’s sensibility is so great that it not only feels the Christmas tree decorations weighing down its branches, and the candles burning its parched leaves, it also feels the pain of rejection from those who had seemingly loved it. When it is discarded and thrown in an outhouse it endures the deprivation of light, its life source, before being dragged outside and set alight. Andersen had written tales with unhappy endings before (The Little Mermaid’ and ‘The Steadfast Tin Soldier’, for example) but a new darker note is struck with ‘The Fir Tree’. It suggests not only the mercilessness of fate but the futility of life itself, only the moment is worth embracing.

If you like a winter’s tale (and a sad tale is best for winter) you will enjoy the beauty of this story. The forest is deeply lush and the Danish speaking tree is extremely uncanny. It does make you question the beauty of something that is dying from the moment it is brought into the house. Andersen’s Nordic sensibilities are very eco gothic here and the tale is wonderfully dark. The tree is both tragic and narcissistic. Still time to be unsettled by its arboreal sensitivities.  You can find the story in any complete Andersen collection. and there is an online version here (though I am not sure about this translation). I am lucky to have an M.R. James translation of the tale in an original Faber edition from 1930. I am truly amazed by the meeting of those two minds.

It is worth noting that in the UK 6 – 7 million Christmas trees are discarded every year and 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are thrown away after Christmas, when they could be used for compost. 

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How Scooby Doo Influenced A Whole Generation of Gothic Scholars

If you were one of those kids who rushed home from school in the 70s to watch Scooby Doo it might just have influenced you in your Gothic thinking and in your understanding of the way Gothic stories are told. Even today those who only know it from watching the reruns (possibly with their own kids) may be surprised to hear about its influence on a whole generation of Gothic scholars – maybe this applies to one of your supervisors if you are a PhD student in the Gothic! Now you can read about its influence on Gothic minds in the insightful article below:

Fifty years ago, on September 13, 1969, Scooby Doo, Where Are You! premiered on CBS. The premise of the show was always the same: whether it was a ghost, a phantom, a ghoul, or a poltergeist, it was back from the dead and it was out a’haunting. “Meddling kids” Fred, Shaggy, Velma, Daphne, and their talking great dane Scooby Doo tackled the supernatural, followed clues, and uncovered the culprit. The mood of the show made up for its predictability; the mysteries were set in haunted houses, dark forests on full-moon nights, dilapidated ghost towns or deserted museums and circus grounds. Rife with suspense and tinged with horror that was watered down with slapstick comedy, Scooby Doo masqueraded as a cartoon mystery but really was surprisingly gothic.

Follow the link below to read the full article published on www.crimereads.com September 13, 2019 by Eleni Theodoropoulos]

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Vampire criticism: Slayage and Angel; Holly Black’s Coldtown

Angel, the tormented ‘vampire with a soul’, was, through his love affair with Buffy in Joss Whedon’s TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997‒2003), one significant archetype of the romantic vampire of paranormal romance. Whedon then developed his character further in the brilliant noir spin-off series, Angel (1999‒2004). The online journal Slayage: The Journal of Whedon Studies has now published the first special issue devoted to the series (17.2 [50], Summer / Fall 2019). There are some brilliant articles here (and an excellent introduction by Stacey Abbott), covering domestic space and noir, intertextuality with the Orpheus myth, Angel’s altruism and existentialist ethics, disability and redemption, embodiment, and the place of Angel in Whedon’s later work.

I have my own essay (thanks to Stacey Abbott and Simon Brown for their encouragement and attentive editing!), ‘“Through a glass darkly”: Reflection, Representation, and Mortality in “Eternity”’. In this I take the prevalent motif of the vampire not being reflected in mirrors and analyse the episode ‘Eternity’ (1.17), drawing on Sam George’s research into shadows and reflections. I see this episode as dramatising the vampiric, utopian appeal of eternal life and beauty and how that is connected to the commodification of fictional representation in the very media that Angel is presented in.

I have some further research on vampires which is in the process of publication. In my chapter ‘Genre mutation in YA Gothic: the dialectics of dystopia and romance in Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown’, I examine the ways that genres mutate and interpenetrate to create new forms. Black’s novel sets up an encounter of the YA dystopia (in the wake of Hunger Games) with the vampire romance. I show how the emancipatory humanism that can be found in paranormal romance is set against a devastating critique of the vampiric condition of neoliberal capitalism—an era of paranoia, universal surveillance, and the reduction of everything human to commodities.

Black’s Coldtown novel is a set text on Sam’s BA module ‘Generation Dead: Young Adult Fiction and the Gothic’, so this may be helpful for students on that course. The chapter will be appearing in a collection of essays on YA Gothic edited by Michelle Smith and Kristine Moruzi, Young Adult Gothic Fiction: Monstrous Selves/Monstrous Others (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2020). The link above is to a prepublication version in the Resources section of our site, so be aware that it may differ from the published article.

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OGOM postgraduate successes: Matt Beresford and Daisy Butcher

Dr Sam George has supervised some very fruitful research projects at the University of Hertfordshire with her PhD students and we’d like to announce two great achievements.

First, we’d like to congratulate Dr Matt Beresford for successfully defending his thesis, ‘The Lord Byron/John Polidori relationship and the foundation of the early nineteenth-century literary vampire’. Matt passed his viva this week after studying for a PhD under OGOM on a part-time bursary and fee waiver from the University of Hertfordshire.

And Daisy Butcher, the recipient of another OGOM PhD bursary, is working on her thesis on vampires, mummies, and killer plants and the representation of the female monster from nineteenth-century literature to contemporary film and television. She has edited and compiled a fabulous collection of tales of the botanical Gothic: Evil Roots: Killer Tales of the Botanical Gothic.

Daisy launched her book at the Odyssey in St Albans and she has been spotted at book signings on the university campus in October and November. She has done an interview/podcast with Radio Verulam in the series ‘Local Life – Talking About Books’, which is available for seven days on Listen Again (via the website here). Congratulations are due to Daisy, too, for being nominated for the Dean’s Award for outstanding contributions to culture and the Humanities.

If you are interested in doing PhD research into the Gothic, the fantastic, and the folkloric with the OGOM Project at the University of Hertfordshire, look at the web page here. Sam also convenes an undergraduate module on Young Adult fiction and the Gothic and an MA module on Reading the Vampire.

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CFPs: Reimagining the Gothic, Gothic politics, Byron, folklore, Vampire Diaries, Japanese horror

A batch of conference calls for papers and calls for chapters:

1. Reimagining the Gothic 2020: Bodies and Genders, University of Sheffield, 1-3 May 2020. Deadline: 2 December 2019.

Reimagining the Gothic is an ongoing project that seeks to explore how the Gothic can be re-read, re-analysed, and re-imagined. We encourage both public interest and new academic avenues from students and scholars who wish to present on the Gothic using interdisciplinary and creative methods. Bodies and genders have long been a key focus for Gothic texts and creators: either through positive, powerful self-identification with the Other or the expression of repressed fears and prejudices manifested in monstrosities.
Papers for ‘Reimagining the Gothic: Bodies and Genders’ should explore the way in which the Gothic mode has constructed and deconstructed physical and metaphorical bodies across various .

2. Politics and Horror, University of Stirling, 31 July – 1 August 2020. Deadline: 28 February 2020.

The University of Stirling invites paper, panel, and poster proposals focused on the role of horror and fear tactics in political commentary, political policy, and in film, literature, video games, comics, web series, and other media that demonstrate a clear connection to political sensibilities using horror imagery or affect.

3. Byron: Wars and Words: The 46th International Byron Conference, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, 29 June-5 July 2020. Deadline: 31 December 2019.

The aim of this conference is to look at how war in all its meanings, symbolisms, and manifestations influenced Byron’s words and worlds, and shaped his poetic and political sensibility. Drawing on recent scholarship in Romantic studies, it will also explore Romantic authors’ preoccupations with war, and how these intersected with Byron’s.

4. Folklore, Learning and Literacies: The Annual Conference of the Folklore Society, London, 24-26 April 2020. Deadline: 12 January 2020.

Lore is learning: folklore is a body of knowledge and a means of transmission. Vernacular knowledge, and vernacular transmission, each rooted in language. [. . .] Formal education and training is no more – or less – formative than the informal, everyday vernacular literacies that we absorb from our peer groups or families. A proverb is a condensed lesson; a ballad or a fairy-tale has a moral more often than not; a rite of passage may encapsulate a trade’s culture. And the landscape, whether rural or urban, is a theatre of memory and the backdrop of local legend.
So yes, lore is learning. But how do we learn folklore? How do we learn about folklore?

5. Critically Reading “The Vampire Diaries” – call for Papers/Abstracts: edited collection. Deadline: 1 March 2020.

Contributions can cover television studies, intertextuality, the role of social media in the TVD fandom, gender, adolescence, mind control, the Gothic, and can also relate to the original novels, the spin-off novels, or either or the television spin-offs.

6. Call for Chapters: Japanese Horror: New Critical Approaches to History, Narratives and Aesthetics (Extended Deadline). Deadline: 25 November 2019

The cultural phenomenon of Japanese Horror has been of the most celebrated cultural exports of the country, being witness to some of the most notable aesthetic and critical addresses in the history of modern horror cultures. Encompassing a range of genres and performances including cinema, manga, video games, and television series, the loosely designated genre has often been known to uniquely blend ‘Western’ narrative and cinematic techniques and tropes with traditional narrative styles, visuals and folklores. Tracing back to the early decades of the twentieth century, modern Japanese horror cultures have had tremendous impact on world cinema, comics studies and video game studies, and popular culture, introducing many trends which are widely applied in contemporary horror narratives. The hybridity that is often native to Japanese aestheticisation of horror is an influential element that has found widespread acceptance in the genres of horror.

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The Haunted Landscape: Magic and Monsters of the British Isles; 23rd November, Conway Hall, London

‘The Haunted Landscape: Magic and Monsters of the British Isles’ is a one-day symposium on folklore, magic and beyond. Authors and researchers discuss fairies, witchcraft, werewolves, vampires, dragons, the lore of autumn, and the magic of common folk.

Up the airy mountain, Down the rushy glen, We daren’t go a-hunting, For fear of little men (William Allingham)

Programme of Talks

‘The Rites and Wrongs of Autumn’ , Doc Rowe

‘Magical House Protection: The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft’ , Brian Hoggard

‘The Croglin Grange Vampire’, Deborah Hyde

‘Old Stinker and Other UK Werewolves’, Dr Sam George

‘Fairies: A Dangerous History’, Dr Richard Sugg

‘English Witches and their Familiars’, Dr. Victoria Carr

‘England’s Historic Graffiti: Voices Preserved in Stone’, Crystal Hollis

‘Hollow Places: The Dragon Slayer’s Tomb’, Christopher Hadley

The event is at Conway Hall, London, Saturday 23rd November 10:00 am – 5:30 pm Tickets are available here £22.00 £16.00 concession

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YA Gothic, fairytale retellings, demon lovers, mermaids and Scottish myths

Here’s a selection of interesting articles on OGOM-related topics.

First, an article on YA Gothic with some recommended novels in the genre. Much of our research has focused on these texts–they are often more adventurous than their adult counterpart, especially in the realm of paranormal romance. Dr Sam George has pioneered the teaching of these novels in her BA module Generation Dead: Young Adult Fiction and the Gothic. This is Amanda Pagan,of the New York Public Library, on ‘Dark and Beautiful: Young Adult Gothic Fiction‘.

Much YA Gothic involves the retelling and reworking of the vast heritage of myth and fairy tale; intertextuality of this sort is again this a special area of interest for OGOM. Angel Cruz has compiled a very useful list of ‘100 must-read retellings of myths, folklore, and classics‘.

The upsurge of tales of loving the vampire and the monstrous in the genre of paranormal romance is part of this Gothic intertextuality. The figure of the Demon Lover from ballads and folklore that these stories build upon is explored here by Lewis Hurst in ‘“Well met, well met, my own true love”: Five Demon Lovers’.

Mermaids figure frequently in these narratives of love between human and supernatural Other. The scholar Cristina Bacchilega, who has just published The Penguin Book of Mermaids, writes here on ‘How Mermaid Stories Illustrate Complex Truths About Being Human: The Tropes, Tricks, and Tools We Find in Tales of Merfolk‘.

Vampires and fairies are among these otherworldly creatures, too. Scottish folklore is rich in these and Karin Goodwin writes here on ‘Scottish myths and legends: vampire fairies, shape shifting selkies and the Loch Ness monster‘.

And finally, to complete this set of resources on folklore reworkings and intertextuality, here’s a list by Courtney Rodgers of ‘7 books of folkloric fiction‘.

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OGOM Halloween Countdown: 31 Days of Spookiness

Those who believe that the spirit world and the living world co-exist, always hidden from each other, will see the barrier between them open in the witching hour. Here at OGOM we are leaving the doors of perception open. We have been celebrating 31 days of Gothtober. You can view our Twitter ‘moment’ to mark this below. Have a wonderful Halloween OGOMERS!!!

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UK Werewolf Hauntings: Are We Living in Gothic Times?

In the opening decades of the twenty-first century, with Trump in the White House and Brexit on the horizon, Angela Carter’s famous assertion of 1974 that ‘we live in Gothic times’ has never been more apt. This theme of ‘Gothic Times’ was addressed earlier this month at Gothic Manchester Festival symposium. The supernatural and paranormal have always been a means of figuring powers that cannot otherwise find visible expression. Contemporary anxieties and dissents are now being reassembled and re-presented as hauntings, shadows or phantoms – a nod to Marx, perhaps, who used the image of spectrality, a gothic phantom haunting Europe, in the Communist Manifesto (1848).  

Since 2015 there have been increased reports of werewolf activity in the UK which point to our living in gothic times. The myth of Old Stinker, an eight-foot werewolf with a human face and very bad breath (supposedly from eating corpses) has re-emerged in Hull and there is renewed interest in the Dogdyke werewolf of Lincolnshire. This creature was originally recorded in 1926 by one Christopher Marlowe, who lived in nearby Langrick Fen and told of a skeleton of a half-wolf half-man creature found buried in the peat.

The Dictionary of English Folklore informs us that there are no werewolf tales in English folklore, presumably because wolves have been extinct here for centuries.  In fact Old Stinker, is associated with the Yorkshire wolds, a country once infested with wolves. There was a wolf bounty for anyone killing them. It was believed that the wolves dug up the corpses from graveyards. From that sprung the idea that they were supernatural beings, who took the form of werewolves. It is true that few accounts of werewolfism in British folklore exist prior to this, but there is instead a strong history of hauntings or spectres in landscapes where there were once wolves.

In 1912, Irish author and ghost hunter Elliott O’Donnell described wolf phantoms in remote parts of Britain. The first was in North Wales, where a grey thing, not unlike a man in body, but with a wolf’s head was supposedly spotted in lonely farmland in Merionethshire. In one of the quarries, close to the place where the phantasm had vanished, some curious bones, partly human and partly animal had been unearthed. O’Donnell concludes that what had been seen might very well have been the earth-bound spirit of a werewolf. Similar incidents occur in Cumbria, the Valley of the Doones in Exmoor and in the Hebrides where, according to  Montague Summers in The Werewolf in Lore and Legend (1933)  a human skeleton with a wolf’s head was unearthed in a tarn by a geologist.

Such watery hauntings, absences and phantoms are notably repeated in descriptions of ‘Old Stinker’, the Hull werewolf or ‘The Beast of Barmston Drain’  The myth of ‘Old Stinker’, the spectre werewolf in the weird wolds, is a powerful example of what Robert Macfarlane has defined as the English eerie or  ‘the skull beneath the skin of the English countryside’  The eerie is located, like the story of Old Stinker himself, within a spectred rather than a ‘sceptred isle’. This is more than supernaturalism – it is a cultural and political response to contemporary crises and fears. Such concerns are not new. The contemporary eerie feeds off its earlier counterparts, Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973) for instance, and the Witchfinder General (dir. by Michael Reeves, 1968), films whose landscapes reveal an underlying sense of psychotic breakdown and brutal violence rather than invoking an English idyll. Adam Scovell defines this genre in relation to (mostly British) landscape as ‘the evil under the soil, the terror in the backwoods of a forgotten lane, and the ghosts that haunt stones and patches of dark, lonely water; a sub-genre that is growing with newer examples summoned almost yearly’ . 

There is an element of ‘folk horror’ here too, a term popularised by Mark Gatiss in his A History of Horror documentary for BBC4 in 2010 to refer to films which shared a common obsession with the British landscape, its folklore and superstitions. It would be easy to dismiss such myths as an excess of dark mysticism or an unnecessary eruption of gothic tourism. What is under way, across a broad spectrum of culture, is an attempt to account for the turbulence of England in the twenty-first century, through a landscape of ruins, pits, drains, fringes, relics, buried objects, hilltops, demons, and dark pasts. Here, suppressed or violent forces pulse and flicker beneath the ground and within the air or water, waiting to erupt or to condense.

Elliot O’Donnell’s accounts of werewolf hauntings feature landscapes full of seams and fissures and gloomy slate quarries half full of foul water. ‘Old Stinker’ is famously associated with the ill-smelling Barnston Drain (a 200-year-old drainage channel that flows across 25 miles of open countryside through Hull, emptying into the River Humber). This drain runs through derelict factory and industrial sites, as well as along the edge of two graveyards. It also has a macabre reputation because of supposed accidental drownings in the heavily polluted water, and as the site of murders and suicides (though this is unproven). This werewolf is firmly situated within the English eerie and possibly represents suppressed forces.

So what are the sources of this unsettlement? Clearly, the recent rise of the eerie coincides with the era of late capitalism and a phase of severe environmental damage. This has not taken the form of a sudden catastrophe but rather a slow grinding away of species, such as the native wolf. This is the climate in which the spectre of the English werewolf has re-emerged (rising from the ashes of the last flesh and blood wolf).

Sam George, University of Hertfordshire, Convenor, Open Graves, Open Minds project

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‘I am Dracula’: The Count comes to Hertfordshire (by Ivan Phillips)

Dracula: The Vampire Play in Three Acts, dramatised by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston (from the novel by Bram Stoker) will be performed by the Settlement Players at the Little Theatre, The Settlement, 229 Nevells Road, Letchworth Garden City, Hertfordshire, SG6 4UB, on Friday 8th November, Saturday 9th November, Friday 15th November, and Saturday 16th November 2019.

Doors open 7.15pm, curtain up 7.45pm.

What connects Coronation Street and Bela Lugosi? Much as I’d like to believe that the ‘King of Horror’ (disputed title – Ed.) spent time supping pints of mixed in the snug of the Rover’s Return the answer is, of course, Albert Tatlock – or, to be precise, Jack Howarth, the Rochdale-born actor who played Albert Tatlock in the TV soap opera from 1960 to 1984.

More than twenty-five years before Coronation Streetbecame a glint in the eye of screenwriter Tony Warren, Howarth – working as the Stage Manager for a regional repertory theatre – loaned his copy of Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula (1897) to actor-producer Hamilton Deane. Deane, an Irishman (born in Wexford, raised in Dublin), had grown up in the same area as both Stoker’s family and that of his wife, Florence, and was loosely associated with the writer through his own mother. In 1899 he began his theatrical career as a member of Henry Irving’s company at the Lyceum, London, so became well-acquainted with the saturnine and mercurial actor upon whom the character of Count Dracula is widely believed to have been (at least partly) based.

Stoker had already produced a one-off stage version of Dracula in the year of its publication, mainly to secure the theatrical rights to the tale and to tempt Irving towards a more developed adaptation. Irving was unimpressed, however, so the scheme came to nothing. By the early 1920s, with both Stoker and Irving dead, Deane set about bringing the vampire to the stage himself, initially trying to find someone else to write the script but eventually doing it himself during a bout of man flu.

When Deane approached Florence Stoker to discuss performance rights, she was already embroiled in a dispute with the German studio Prana Film over Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror, F.W. Murnau’s unauthorised (and utterly brilliant) 1922 film adaptation of Dracula. Stoker’s widow was, in other words, happy to secure some royalties and Deane was able to go ahead with staging his own version. It opened on 5 August 1924 at the Grand Theatre, Derby, with Edmund Blake as Dracula and Deane himself as Van Helsing. (Jack Howarth, meanwhile, was given the role of Warder at Dr Seward’s asylum, while his wife, Betty Murgatroyd, played the Housemaid.) The play was an enormous success, touring for three years before establishing itself in London at the Little Theatre in the Adelphi in February 1927. Over ninety years on Deane’s Dracula is about to be performed across four evenings at the Little Theatre in the Settlement in Letchworth – and I’m excited to say that the vampire’s cape has been passed to me.

The version of Deane’s play that the Settlement Players will present in November of this year is actually that which was first produced at the Fulton Theatre on Broadway by Horace Liveright, who had brought in John L. Balderston to cut down Deane’s script and angle it towards a New York audience. Opening on 5 October 1927 (and running for over 250 performances), Balderston’s revision starred Bela Lugosi as Dracula and Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing. Both men would resume their roles for the Universal Pictures adaptation of the Deane-Balderston play of 1931, written by Garrett Fort. The rest, as they say, is history and Lugosi (born in 1882 in what was then Austria-Hungary but is now Romania) would carry the Count with him to the grave, being buried in one of the vampire’s capes on his death in Los Angeles in 1956.

To an audience in 2019, the 1927 play of Dracula is likely to be surprising in a number of ways. There is, for instance, no initial excursion through the Borgo Pass to the vampire’s decaying castle in the Carpathian mountains. When the drama begins, the Count is already installed at Carfax Abbey and paying regular visits to the house-cum-lunatic-asylum of his neighbour in Purley, Dr Seward. That’s right: Purley, not (as in Stoker’s novel) Purfleet. And there is no mention of an eerie shipwreck on the shores of Whitby – no mention of Whitby at all, in fact. Instead, we discover that Dracula has availed himself of international air travel to arrive in England via Croydon Aerodrome – the only major airport in the UK between the world wars and conveniently close to Purley, after all.

The core elements of the Dracula mythos remain in place, however, with bloodlust, wolf-howls and a bat (a singular challenge for the Players’ backstage team). Some of the lines might sound oddly camp to the twenty-first-century ear – ‘My footfall is not heavy and your rugs are soft,’ is a particular favourite of mine – but the power of the story to thrill, grip and unsettle is as strong as ever. The play is a lot of fun – it is proving a lot of fun to rehearse and it will be a lot of fun to watch – but is it still frightening? Well, it is unlikely that the advice given in the production notes about having a nurse on hand with smelling salts will need to be followed:

Unless your audiences are more hardened than the audiences played to in New York and on the road, you will have people fainting in the auditorium for the nurse to take care of, and this is always good for press material.

But define ‘frightening’. We live in frightening times, when the monsters within and the monsters without seem increasingly hard to distinguish. My friends in the Settlement Players, led by Director Jim Anderson and Assistant Director Amanda Franklin (who also plays Mina) are a talented and passionate bunch and they have a track record of producing outstanding community theatre, dating back to 1923, the year before Deane’s Dracula was first performed. When the shadow of the vampire falls across the town of Letchworth in a few weeks’ time, it will provide a much-needed distraction from current preoccupations but it might also hold up a mirror to them, however briefly. Whether we glimpse our own reflection remains to be seen…

Tickets are £10, available online at www.settlement-players.co.uk or from David’s Music, Eastcheap, Letchworth.

Ivan Phillips is Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire. Since completing a PhD on the poetry of Paul Muldoon at the University of Wales, Swansea in 1998, he has written for The Times Literary Supplement, Critical Studies in Television, The Journal of Wyndham Lewis Studies, The Conversation and HuffPost, and published on subjects ranging from Thomas Chatterton to The Phantom of the Opera. A contributor to Sam George and Bill Hughes’s Open Graves, Open Minds: Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present (Manchester University Press, 2013) and The Company of Wolves: Werewolves, Wolves and Wild Children (Manchester: Manchester University Press, forthcoming), he has also written chapters for Paul Booth’s Fan Phenomena: Doctor Who (Intellect, 2013) and Andrzej Gąsiorek and Nathan Waddell’s Wyndham Lewis: A Critical Guide (University of Edinburgh Press, 2015). His book Once Upon A Time: The Myths and Stories of Doctor Who will be published by Bloomsbury Academic later in 2019.

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