Play version of Dracula



Dracula – a gothic horror story about a bloodsucking aristocrat – was first published in 1897. The author, Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker (1847–1912), was working as a theatre manager, and wrote as a sideline.

Largely thanks to its reinterpretation throughout the 20th century in plays and over 200 films, the tale became definitive of its genre. This was one of the many theatre stagings, adapted from the book by Hamilton Deane (1880–1958) for a 1924 production that toured England, and then edited for American audiences in 1927 by John Balderston (1889–1954). It was the first stage version that was authorised by Stoker’s widow, and influenced many subsequent screen adaptations, as the photographs of the play’s cast onstage show.

The 1927 performances in New York starred the Hungarian-American actor Béla Blaskó (1882–1956) – better known as Bela Lugosi – as the Count. He reprised the role in the well-known 1931 film Dracula.

Full title
Dracula. The vampire play in three acts. Dramatized by H. Deane and J. L. Balderston from Bram Stoker's world famous novel “Dracula.”
estimated 1933 , New York, US
Book / Playscript / Photographs and photogravures / Image
Hamilton Deane
Held by
British Library
© By kind permission of Laurence Fitch Ltd and Robert A Freedman, Dramatic Agency, Inc.

Related articles

Gothic motifs

Article by
John Bowen
The Gothic, The novel 1780-1832

What does it mean to say a text is Gothic? Professor John Bowen considers some of the best-known Gothic novels of the late 18th and 19th centuries, exploring the features they have in common, including marginal places, transitional time periods and the use of fear and manipulation.

Dracula: vampires, perversity and Victorian anxieties

Article by
Greg Buzwell
Fin de siècle, The Gothic, London

The vampire is a complicated creature: caught between life and death, at once alluring and horrifying. Greg Buzwell considers the way the novel reflects the fears that haunted late 19th-century society – fears of immigration, sexual promiscuity and moral degeneration.

The imperial Gothic

Article by
Suzanne Daly
Power and politics, The Gothic

Mysticism, degeneracy, irrationality, barbarism: these are the qualities that came to define the non-western ‘other’ in 19th-century Britain. Here Professor Suzanne Daly explores the ‘Imperial Gothic’, examining the ways in which ‘otherness’ and Empire were depicted in Gothic novels such as Jane Eyre, The Moonstone, Dracula and Heart of Darkness.

Related collection items