Dracula the Musical (2010)

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Dracula: the Musical is a Swedish musical based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker produced in 2010. It was originally a theatre production meant for ten performances but due to the massive popularity extra performances were added and the musical was turned into a film, given a limited release on DVD. The film was put together by editing several performances of the musical and a filming session for closeups. The musical was written by Lisa Linder and directed by Martin Geijer. Music was composed by Christer Johansson and Jacob Mülrad.

The musical had a premise very similar to Bram Stoker's Dracula but had many subplots and themes unique to itself. The musical also followed the book closely, the most notable detail being the inclusion of Lucy Westenra's mother, a character absent from most adaptations.

Plot[edit]

Act 1[edit]

In the year 1446 Vlad Dracul is a young warrior who sworn loyalty to the cross and is out to defend his homeland of Transylvania from the invading Turks. He fights the Turks for several days and wins but his beloved wife is misinformed of his death and she commits suicide. When Vlad returns home he is devastated by her death and asks God why he has forsaken him. In rage he kills the priests and swears that he will suck the life out of God and all his followers.

The story shifts to 1970s England. A young reporter arrives at a retirement home. At the home he finds an elderly and blind Mina Harker. She is reluctant to talk the reporter until he reveals that he is the grandnephew of Abraham van Helsing and that his name is Erik. Erik tells Old Mina that van Helsing was put in an asylum and that one time when he meet him as a child he ranted something about a mission in Transylvania involving Mina and her late husband. Old Mina agrees to tell him everything.

In the year 1897 solicitor Jonathan Harker, the fiancée of Mina, has arrived in Transylvania to give legal support to a Count Dracula for a real estate transaction overseen by Harker's employer. The people at the local inn tries to talk him out of going to Dracula's castle, warning him for the many dangers (St. George's Eve) and is given a cross. Harker thanks them for their warnings but travels there anyway (The Journey to the Castle). Jonathan arrives at the castle and is greeted by Count Dracula himself. Dracula serves him dinner but does not eat himself. Jonathan presents the house Dracula was interested in, Carfax Abbey. Jonathan mentions his fiancée Mina and shows Dracula a picture of her that he keeps in a necklace. Dracula is stunned by the picture, but soon continues to talk about the affair and forces Jonathan to extend the time he is going to spend with him from a couple of days to several weeks. Old Mina tells Erik about her friend Lucy Westenra and her three suitors; Arthur Holmwood, Quincey Morris and John Seward. Lucy is interested in Morris but her mother prefers the shy and in Lucy's eyes gentle but boring Arthur because of his wealth. John is also the owner of a mental hospital nearby, where a strange patient called Ronald Malcolm Renfield dwells. When Renfield asks John if he is going to visit Lucy, Renfield enigmatically tells John that she is not going to choose him. In Dracula's castle Jonathan can't find a mirror and is forced to use his own little mirror to shave. Dracula enters the room and surprises Jonathan who cuts himself. Dracula tries to attack him but sees Jonathan's cross and is driven back. He then warns Jonathan about the danger of losing blood in Transylvania, the dangers of his Castle and his love for the howling of the wolfs through song (Children of the Night).

In London the audience is further introduced to Lucy's suitors and Mrs. Westenra, her (Lucy's) mother. John talks about Renfield's habit of eating flies and spiders and Mina manages to figure out his logic before John can mention them much to his and Mina's surprise. In Dracula's castle Jonathan writes a letter to Mina, begs her to see through the lies Dracula forces him to write and says she is his only light and hope (Letters to Mina (Read Between the Lines)). Meanwhile Mrs. Westenra tells Lucy about her heart condition and that she might die soon and uses that fact to manipulate Lucy to accept Arthur's proposal (You May Choose Whoever You Want).

At castle Dracula, Jonathan is trying to find a way out and wanders around the castle at night. In his head Mina's voice echoes and reminds him about Dracula's warnings and that he does not know that there is another evil in the castle than Dracula. Jonathan finds an empty hall and sits down to rest. He falls asleep and the room turns from icy colors to blood red. Voices of women are heard and suddenly hands appear from behind the chair, harassing Jonathan. Strange being appear, dancing sensually and three unnamed vampire women (they are credited as "The Vampire Sisters") appear and tries to seduce Jonathan (Carpe Noctem). Before they can have their way with him, a furious Dracula appears and scares away the mysterious beings and drives the Vampire Sisters back. They seem to be equally angry and tell Dracula that he does not know anything about their feelings and desire. Dracula throws them a baby which they immediately attack.

Lucy accepts her fate and tells Arthur that she will marry him in an humorous scene. Arthur is never told that Mrs. Westenra more or less forced Lucy to marry him and he thinks throughout the play that Lucy loved him. Mina sees a storm coming on the ocean.

At Dracula's castle, a gypsy host arrives and carries away boxes to be transported to Varna. Jonathan tries to hide in a box. To his horror he find that Dracula himself is lying in the coffin. Jonathan decides that despite the serious dangers in the Carpathian Mountains he will escape by foot.

In London, the storm of the century hit the mainland carrying with it a ship (The Ship On The Thames). A strange wolf-creature is seen leaving the ship before some Londoners investigate the ship and find a traumatised girl on board. The girl tells them about the ship's journey to London and how a man she calls the devil (the audience sees it is Dracula) killed all but her (Shackled at the Helm). A couple of nights later, Lucy sleepwalks and is attacked by the same strange wolf-creature that left the boat. Lucy's sickness confuses John and the others. Mrs. Westenra sends Mina to fetch some drugs at the drugstore and Mina runs into a strange, mysterious man who frightens yet fascinates her. Later, Mina gets a letter from an abbey in Budapest. Jonathan has made it out alive of the Transylvanian forest and has been nursed back to health by the nuns in the abbey. Mina goes to Budapest and meets Jonathan who is still recovering from the ordeal at the castle. He tells her about what he saw in the castle and Mina realises that the man she meet was Dracula. Thinking Dracula is out for her, she marries Jonathan to make herself untouchable, despite being more interested in Dracula at the moment (Wedding in the Abbey). The first act ends with Dracula screaming in agony; Mina is in fact his wife reborn.

Act 2[edit]

In Amsterdam Abraham van Helsing holds a lecture about blood and diseases (Our Civilisation). Not knowing how to treat Lucy, John sends after his old mentor van Helsing to help him treat Lucy. At Carfax Abbey, Renfield breaks free from his cell and lets loose the other patients (My Master, Use Me!) before getting caught by the hospital attendants again. Old Mina tells Erik that van Helsing was a wise, yet dangerous man which confuses Erik before Mina adding that he was dangerous to Dracula. Van Helsing arrives to London, and quickly realises that Lucy has been bitten by a vampire. Van Helsing has John doing a blood transfusion, which revives the unconscious Lucy. While van Helsing goes to fetch Arthur, Lucy asks John to kiss her which he douse. Arthur walks in on them. Van Helsing fills her room with garlic and tells John to guard outside her room. John does so, but unknown to van Helsing he is addicted to hospital drugs and John soon falls asleep due to the drugs. Mrs. Westerna enters Lucy's room and removes the garlic which she sees as strange superstition. Soon Dracula enters the house through a window and feeds on Lucy. Mrs. Westerna hears strange noises from the room and walks in and sees Dracula and has a fatal heart attack. Next day, a furious van Helsing arrives, angry for them having him going the entire way from Amsterdam only to dismiss his advice and remove the garlic. He has John, Arthur and Quincey give Lucy blood which briefly revives Lucy, giving her just enough time to ask van Helsing to give her peace. Then she dies. The next day Jonathan and Mina arrives in London and are meet with the news of Lucy and her mother's death (The Funeral).

At the wake van Helsing tells the others about his theory that Lucy has bitten by a vampire, Dracula. John dismisses this idea saying that there is one proof in modern science for vampires, to which van Helsing replies with a rock song (The Man Who Once Was) and fully convinces them that vampires are real. He tells them that Lucy is now a vampire and they must drive a stake through her heart and cut off her head to set her soul free. Mina wants to come along but the others leave her behind, because she's a woman. The men enters Lucy's tomb and finds her feeding on a small child. They save the child, but Lucy tries to seduce Arthur (Lucy's Song) but van Helsing stops her with a cross. Van Helsing tells Arthur to stake Lucy, but he douse not have the courage and Quincey douse it instead. Afterward he confesses he had almost sexual feelings about doing it. At John's asylum were Mina has been place she is called upon by Renfield who tells her that she is his masters life and blood. As the men arrives Mina tells them this and manipulates Renfield into telling Dracula's location. Mina is once again left behind as the men goes to deal with Dracula. Old Mina tells Erik they were going to regret not taking her with them.

Jonathan, who had forgotten about Dracula buying Carfax Abbey due to his illness, leads the other men to the abbey. They find Dracula's coffin empty and decide to search through the building. A horde of vampire women attacks them, abut they manages to kill them and purify the building from Dracula (Obsessis A Daemonio).

Meanwhile, Dracula visits Mina after being invited to the building by Renfield. Dracula makes Mina remember her past life as his wife, and Mina realises that he killed Lucy but in despair confesses her love for him(The Princess and The River). Meanwhile, the men finds Renfield dying and realises that Dracula is in the building. Dracula has Mina drink his blood (The Princess and The River continued). The men rushes in and van Helsing drives Dracula back with his cross. Quincey tries to shoot Dracula, which distracts van Helsing and allows Dracula to escape. An angry van Helsing tells Quincey that only a bullet of gold can fatally wound a vampire. He then tries to bless Mina with his cross only to burn her forehead instead. Mina suggests van Helsing to hypnotise her to get a hold of Dracula's plans. Due to Mina's mental link with Dracula they can follow him to his castle in Transylvania.

Erik asks Mina about her and Dracula and Mina tries to convince him that it was Dracula's hypnotic power that got the best of her. When Erik asks her if she was a vampire then she is quick to say there are no vampires any more.

As they come closer to Dracula's castle Mina becomes more and more vampiric and Jonathan soon confronts her, angry over feeling that he is being put aside for a monster, the very monster that put him through hell and he risked his life to save her from. Mina responds in a demonic voice; He is not a monster!, this much to her own horror. Jonathan makes her say that Dracula is evil itself. Van Helsing reports that Dracula is returning to his castle and they must stop him before sunset. The men sets up an ambush while van Helsing creates a protective circle around her to keep evil out, but also keep her in. Mina calls for Dracula, calling him his true love and tries to seduce van Helsing and fails and the evil creatures serving the count( wolves and a Hydra) appear and damn van Helsing calling him infidel and beast (Mina's Longing). Van Helsing drives the beasts off and the other men arrives telling them that the gypsy host carrying Dracula's coffin in closing in. The men ambushes the gypsies and Quincey is wounded in a gun duel with the "Gun-Gypsy". Dracula escapes the men in bat form and they head after him, but not before Mina manipulates Jonathan to remove the circle.

The final song number ("The Final Battle") begins and the men challenge Dracula, who dares them to battle him. The Vampire Sisters appear, immobilizing Jonathan with terror. Van Helsing challenges the vampire but is easily knocked unconscious by Dracula with a single roar of power. The Vampire Sisters seduce and feed on Arthur, John and the wounded Quincey. Mina and Dracula are reunited and it seems that Dracula has triumphed. But Jonathan shakes off his terror and challenges Dracula, immobilizing him by pushing the huge cross Dracula prayed to hundreds of years ago over him. Jonathan tells Mina that if she loves him she will kill Dracula. Mina can't bring herself to do it, but Dracula tells her to end her suffering and Mina prepares to drive Jonathan's stake through Dracula's heart. The song is however interrupted by Erik who tells Old Mina that was no how it happened and reveals a gun and tells Old Mina that van Helsing never was unconscious and lying on the ground he saw everything that happened. The song continues and it is shown that Dracula told Mina that if she killed him she would turn into a vampire and he would live within her because she had tasted his blood, but if Jonathan kills him they will never be together again. Mina finishes off Dracula. In present day Erik tells Old Mina that the gun is loaded with a golden bullet and commands her the remove her hat. Mina douse so and it is shown that the burn mark is still on her forehead. She also removes her sunglasses showing that she was never blind, she was hiding her pale vampire eyes. Old Mina tells Erik that she is indeed a vampire but has never hurt any one and therefore aged. Erik tells Mina that she can never be anything else than a vampire and prepares to shoot her, but Mina's demonic appearance scares him so much that Mina attacks her before he can shoot her.

A fully reyouthed Mina raises and her demonic laugh is heard as the curtain closes.

Cast[edit]

Songs[edit]

External links[edit]

Promotional music video of The Man Who Once Was (Swedish):