Saturday, January 03, 2015

Honourable Mention: Carmilla: the Harlequin Production

A few months ago I mentioned the play of Carmila, by my friend David MacDowell Blue, after he sent me a copy of the script.

More recently David has given me access to a video shot of the play being performed by Harlequin Productions of Cayuga Community College. The play was directed by Robert Frame.

The familiar story of the vampire Carmilla (Niki Baker-Lanning) coming into the life of the innocent Laura (Meg Owren) was cleverly transported to Austria in the 1930/40s. When I read the play I was also impressed with the way David had framed the story with a clever use of flashback interacting with a foreground that sees Laura interviewed by Allied Captain Martin (Donovan Stanfield). This was even more so after watching the way Harlequin production cleverly used a central stage area, which seemed to really draw the audience into the play.

the peddler scene
I think my favourite moment within the play was when Carmilla and Laura meet Carlsberg the Peddler (Ryan Baldwin). As well as offering us a modicum of lore, the scene really does allow Carmilla to reveal a darker, more aggressive aspect that is well portrayed by Baker-Lanning. The scene actually flows into one of my favourite scenes from the novella, which is Carmilla's reaction to the funeral dirge. I've always found this scene both interesting and intriguing.

Speilsdorf on stage
When I gave the script a mention, I said that it only gave me “a wee glimpse into the actual performed play". Now that I have seen the video of the production, whilst I have more idea I can also say that I wish I had actually seen it performed live. Nevertheless thanks to David, and the company, for giving me the opportunity to see the video.


RV said...

Is there a way to contact you?

Taliesin_ttlg said...

RV, yes - there is a contact me address on the right hand collumn. Email is: Taliesinloki at Yahoo dot co dot uk