Sunday, 4 November 2012

Recommended: Bram Stoker Festival (Dublin, 2012)

This year we have had the pleasure to be pioneers and participate in the first Bram Stoker festival in Dublin celebrating the life and legacy of  a brilliant Gothic Irish author , the creator of Dracula: Bram Stoker. There were different cultural activities throughout the city of Dublin from theatre plays, street live performances, to exhibitions, outdoors cinema (Nosferatu) in the heart of temple bar and tours. Most of the activities were free events but you had to registered well in advanced. I got tickets for 2 of the free events. the first one being the Stocker's Dublin revealed tour created by the well-known Dublin Historian Pat Liddy which brought us some specific details of the 19th Victorian's Bram Stocker Dublin. Although it was very cold, we enjoyed it very much the 2 hours of walking around Dublin that ended up in a small little church behind Dublin castle where Pat read  a few chapters of Dracula inside the church with Andrés and myself with make-up as vampires lol very surreal! Even Pat mentioned several times that we were a bit scary since we were the only 2 who took the vampire them seriously, the rest had no make-up or any fancy dresses on lol. In this tour we learned about another church which has mommies (we still have to go and see it!) , he also talked about the friendship that Oscar Wilde and Stocker had, one of the first stories about vampires  was "Sheridan Le Fanu's" which was about a lesbian vampire, Carmilla (so it was not Dracula as many people think). Pat also told us about the origins of Halloween which is in fact a Celtic tradition and not American, as many think, it was the Christian festivity of the dead.

The other event we were lucky to get tickets to, was the street theatre performance "Imaging Bram Stoker: Spraoi Spectacle  which took place in one of the yards of the Dublin Castle. To me, this was my favorite event, they recreated with a lot of style and imagination the Dublin of the 19th century inspired by the Victorian horror touch of Stoker. We were welcomed by Vampires in the Castle, by a ghostly man reading a book in the moon, a music band of vampires, a giant skeleton and the very own Dracula surrounded by beautiful female vampires dressed in white with a very scary and sensual look. The whole performance lasted 45 minutes, time flew and the actors interacted with the public. Have to say that although it was a familiar activity and there were plenty of kids (all dressed-up as it was a requirement to attend the show in a fancy dress), some of the little ones were a bit scared.

I do hope there will be many more Bram Stocker's festivals for the years to come, being Dracula one of the most sold books and not so celebrated in Ireland, he really deserves to have his own festival for so many vampire lovers out there.

Here the link to the festival and a few photos:

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