REVIEW – Nosferatu (The Lowry)

Nosferatu at The Lowry, Salford ©2015 Richard Mulhearn. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Nosferatu at The Lowry, Salford
©2015 Richard Mulhearn. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Date: 29 october 2015
Upstaged Rating: 

The Proper Job Theatre Company arrived at The Lowry Theatre in Salford with their spine chilling Nosferatu just in time for All Hallows’ Eve. Their latest touring production, Nosferatu is written by acclaimed poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan and takes its inspiration from the 1922 German Expressionist film of the same name and the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula charts the journey of the Demeter as it sets sail for Whitby from Varna, Transylvania. The ship leaves with its full complement of crew only to arrive without them – the captain is still onboard but he is dead and strapped to the wheel and in place of his crew, there is a strange cargo of wooden boxes. The tale of Nosferatu unpicks the chilling fate of these sailors in the last hour before the sun rises.

Considering that this play is based on one of the most iconic monsters of all time -Dracula -very little happens in the running time of 80 minutes. The crew are waiting for the dawn which brings sunlight and safety from the mysterious and evil cargo that lurks below deck. McMillan’s language is poetic and uses some powerful imagery – however, at times the language felt repetitive which resulted in a feeling of detachment from the characters and their plight.

The highlight of this production was the beautiful musical accompaniment played by Anna Scott – both haunting and atmospheric. Through the simple combination of her skilled cello playing and her melodious soprano voice she did manage to conjure up the eerie atmosphere of the of the fateful night onboard the Demeter.

-Kristy Stott

Nosferatu visits The Plowright Theatre in Scunthorpe on the 30th October and Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in time for Halloween on the 31st October 2015.