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The Civic Players, the popular amateur theatre society based in Yeovil, are renowned for the quality of their comedies and farces. But for their next production, they are presenting something different. Very different indeed. They will be performing a stage adaptation of possibly the most famous horror story ever written – Dracula! The notion of putting this literary classic on the stage came from director Rich Walters, but he’s not sure why. “I have no idea where the initial idea of doing Dracula came from,” he explains. “It just occurred to me one day. Maybe the Count crept into my room one night and subconsciously planted the thought! It’s part of his diabolical plot to return.”


Dracula has been adapted for the stage by Steven Dietz, from the classic novel by Bram Stoker, and it closely follows the source material. Jonathan Harker travels to Transylvania to meet a rich nobleman, Count Dracula. Harker is at first impressed by Dracula, but is soon disturbed by strange occurrences. Before long, Harker realizes that he's a prisoner. In England, Lucy, the best friend of Harker's fiancée Mina, starts behaving strangely — she is losing blood, seemingly for no reason. Dr Seward consults his friend and mentor, Van Helsing, who soon realizes that there is a vampire involved. Dracula has arrived unseen in England and Lucy has fallen under his spell and her friends battle to save not only her life, but her very soul. They must also pit their wits against Dracula and destroy him. But Dracula is one of the undead – and how do you kill Death itself?


As well as their comedies, The Civic Players are also known for the realism and fine detail of their sets, but this too will be different with Dracula. The action of the play takes place in many different locations, such as Castle Dracula, a hospital, a cliff top, and a graveyard, among others. To represent these, the society will be making great use of sound and lighting, rather than realistic scenery, to give a truly atmospheric and theatrical experience. Special effects, too, will be playing their part, with plenty of smoke helping to conjure visions – and where would a vampire story be without a few splashes of blood?!


Over the last 50 years, The Civic Players have earned an impressive reputation for the quality of their award-winning productions, and chairman Andy Meadows believes this will continue with Dracula. “It’s always a bit of a risk when a society offers something slightly different, but Dracula is so iconic and powerful that I think our audiences will enjoy it just as much as our comedies. What a lot of people forget, or don’t realise, is that as much as it is a horror, this is also a romance. It is essentially a tale of two couples racing to save each other’s lives. So come for the gore, stay for the love story!”


Dracula will be presented by the Civic Players at the Swan Theatre, Yeovil, from May 24 to May 27 2023.

Tickets are £12 each with a special ‘Two for £20’ offer for the May 24 performance, and will be on general sale from Wednesday 1 March.  Head to, or by calling the box office on 07593 539593 to reserve your seats.

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