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.