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Going Over To The Dark Side: The Bram Stoker Festival

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Just as we’ve begun to notice that the nights are drawing in, a strange presence has been seen lurking around the darkened streets of Dublin’s fair city. But who and what is it that hides in the shadows? Are you brave enough to discover the secrets of the most famous un-dead literary character of them all? Who needs zombies when there’s the original blood sucker going a prowl?

If you do feel courageous enough to pay Count Dracula a Halloween visit, there’s plenty of opportunities over the course of the Bram Stoker themed weekend coming up. Running from 26-28 October at various venues around Dublin city centre is a veritable Gothic horror treat for Stoker and vampire enthusiasts. The festival is a mixture of readings and talks; music and art; vampires on film and much, much more. Many events are free though requiring advance registration. Check out the contact details that I give below.

Although Dracula isn’t Stoker’s only book, it is the one for which he’s most famous so naturally Dracula pops up in many places during the festival. Versions of the Dracula story on film will be presented in Meeting House Square, the series curated for the festival by movie critic and writer Kim Newman.  Movie classics Dracula (1931) and The Brides of Dracula (1960) will be casting a scary shadow over the square. Younger fans are not left out of this vampire-fest as Hotel Transylvania (2012) and The Monster Squad (1987) will be shown on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

You might not immediately think of vampire activity as fun, but you can’t get much funnier than a date with ‘The Addams Family’ which will be held in the splendid surroundings of Christchurch Cathedral on Sunday evening. The programme promises ‘wacky pop up performances, spooky games and very creepy vibes’ so it sounds promising. If you still have a hunger for blood after that, you could pop down into the crypt at Christchurch later that evening for ‘Bram’s Banquet’, a five-course candlelit gourmet meal (€20). The event is billed as celebrating wild Irish foods; I just hope there’s nothing un-dead on the menu.

One event that I have attended on a previous occasion (when Dracula was the One City, One Book choice) is ‘Dracula in the Cathedral’ which is again to be held at St Patrick’s Cathedral and would be well worth seeing. You will hear readings from Dracula interspersed with atmospheric music from choral group Crux Ensemble. Laurence Foster and Michael James Ford will be presenting excerpts from the novel.  I promise you plenty of spine tingling moments and wonderful music and all for free (first come first served) so do give it a go. An ideal spooky Samhain event.

But I can’t help wondering what Mr Stoker would have made of it all? Have fun, and be careful out there…

Image courtesy of – www.bramstokerfestival.com

facebook.com/BramStokerDublin

@BramStokerDub

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