Abraham "Bram" Stoker (November 8, 1847 – April 20, 1912) was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.

DRACULA SUBJECT FOR THE STAGE




Bram Stoker
Dracula was dramatized by Hamilton Deans and produced at the Wimbledon Theatre on 9th March, 1925. This version was performed in London at the Little Theatre, 14th February, 1927. On the preceding Thursday the Daily Mirror published a photograph of the late Mr. Brain Stoker accompanied by the following paragraphs. "Herewith, one of the very few photographs of the late Brain Stoker, who, besides being Sir Henry Irving's manager for years, was an industrious novelist.
"The dramatic adaptation is by Hamilton Deans, whose grandfather, Colonel Deans, and the Rev. Abraham Stoker, Bram's father, lived on adjoining estates in County Dublin. Young Bram and Hamilton Deane's mother, then a young girl, were great friends. Stoker had the book 'Dracula' in his mind, and the young people used to discuss its possibilities. Strange that it should be young Hamilton Deane who has dramatized the book and brought the play to London."
At the Little Theatre the cast of Dracula was as follows: Count Dracula, Raymond Huntley; Abraham van Helsing, Hamilton Deane; Dr. Seward, Stuart Lomath; Jonathan Harker, Bernard Guest; Quincey P. Morris, Frieda Hearn; Lord Godalming, Peter Jackson; R. M. Renfield, Bernard Jukes; The Warden, Jack Howarth; The Parlourmaid, Hilda Macleod; The Housemaid, Betty Murgatroyd; Mina Harker, Dora Mary Patrick.
Confessedly the play was extremely weak, and yet such is the fascination of this subject that it had an exceptional success, and triumphantly made its way from theatre to theatre. On 25th July, 1927, Dracula was transferred to the Duke of York's; on the 29th August, following to the Prince of Wales, on 10th October to the Garrick; and all the while it was given to thronging houses. It has also toured, and at the present moment is still touring the provincial theatres with the most marked success, the drama being given with more spirit and vigour than originally was the case at the Little, and Wilfrid Fletcher in particular playing the lunatic Renfield with a real touch of wistful pathos and uncanny horror. This is is extremely instructive, and it is curious that the vogue of the "vampire play" in London should be repeated almost exactly after the interval of a century. On 5th November, 1927, a new version of Dracula by Charles Morrel was presented at the Court Theatre, Warrington.
In America the dramatization of Dracula was produced at the Shubert, New Haven, 19th September, 1927. This was given at the Fulton, New York, upon the following 5th October. Jonathan Harker was acted by Terence Neil; Abraham Van Helsing by Edward Van Sloan; Renfield by Bernard Jukes; and Count Dracula by Bela Lugosi.
                                      ( Montague Summers‎, The Vampire, London 1995, pp. 335-36)

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