by Brenda W. Clough
This is a play that we saw in London that I did not select. A friend organized a group of 20 to go, and of course I said yes without a thought. (I never say no.) I had no idea what it was about, and sat down in the theater with a completely pure and empty mind.I learned only during the intermission that the stage production is based on a vampire movie, which is actually based on a book which was originally published in Sweden.
And it was … odd. Not difficult — hello, I write SF. I can see the vampire meme coming at me. It was horror, which is always difficult to stage well, and vampires (along with the werewolves and zombies) are kind of everywhere these days. So this had to be something different. And what it really was about was about disaffected and unhappy young teens. So she’s a vampire. He’s a victim of bullies, he has it just as bad. The vampirism is just another life issue, like your dysfunctional family life. And this makes it kind of ordinary. Which is not a good thing for a vampire to be.
What I probably should do is see the movie, which may be closer to the source material. The stage artistry of this was very fine — the not-human quality of a vampire is wonderfully conveyed, as is the very-young teen quality of the protagonists. Only when they step up for the curtain call do you realize how old the actors actually are. And there is one moment of pure stage sleight-of-hand, when the hero is being drowned in a swimming pool. Somehow they submerge the actor for many minutes, and he doesn’t die, or even thrash around much. How was it done? Mirrors, projection, an air tube? I have no idea.
The ebook version of my novel How Like a God is now available from Book View Cafe.
My newest novel Speak to Our Desires is out from Book View Café.