London 1887. When the mortal remains of a young aristocrat vanish in the dead of night from Brompton Necropolis, Sherlock Holmes is no sooner asked to investigate than a second mystery presents itself – a beautiful young heiress afflicted by unaccountable night terrors; her vitality slipping away.
As these two strange cases resolve themselves into one, Holmes and his steadfast companion, Dr. John Watson, are plunged into a hidden London of grave-robbing grotesques, murderous Szgany gypsies, and demonic possession that obscures a diabolical conspiracy to overthrow the Crown itself.
Theatre Workshop Coulsdon’s thrilling homage to late Victorian gothic pits two of fiction’s most enduring characters against each other. But in the fog-shrouded metropolis where nothing is what it seems, which towering colossus of literary legend will triumph in this savage, epochal battle of wits?
From the author:
Indulging an occasional impulse to put something dark on stage, when ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Vampyres of London’ slid into my head, I thought I’d hit upon an original idea. Ah well. Ten minutes on Google laid bare an entire sub-culture of Holmes vs. Dracula novels, comics and essays. I guess bringing together the two pre-eminent creations of late Victorian fiction was a bit of a no-brainer. The Yin and Yang of the fin-de-siècle imagination – an epic face-off for the ages…
In the red, white and blue corner: Sherlock Holmes – arch-rationalist, buttoned-up, attractively flawed apotheosis of British pluck, doggedness, and all-round brilliance. Set against him, that epitome of lubricious, unchecked carnal desires: Dracula – the screaming antithesis of idealized Victorian manhood. Evil, hypersexualized, and downright foreign. It’s the ultimate Victorian superhero against the ultimate Victorian bogeyman. I mean, why wouldn’t you?
Holmes first appeared in 1887; Dracula 10 years later in 1897. Both characters achieved almost immediate superstar status – a dazzling supernova of global fame which has shown no sign of fading since. They are twin titans of popular culture, endlessly reimagined in movies, television, books, games and comics.
Both Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker achieved immortality of sorts thanks to their creations: a Scotsman and an Irishman giving life to two of the most famous, enduring, and built-upon characters in English fiction.
I have built upon them shamelessly in turn. It was fun bringing them together.