Teatro Corsario, Vampyria

Review in Issue 15-1 | Spring 2003

Vampyria is a visual theatre piece exploring the rich tradition of 19th century symbolist arts and ‘vampire literature’. And who wouldn’t be tempted along to see naughty naked vampire puppets romping on the stage? It is a visually gorgeous production – the puppet characters and set-pieces (such as a galloping horse and an eight-legged vampire spiderwoman) are masterpieces of puppet design. Deep reds and blues create an appropriately rich, dark Gothic stage setting and the minimal use of language (Spanish) keeps the focus on the visual narrative, which evolves like an animated film storyboard with every scene beautifully framed.

Had I not recently re-read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, had I not been such a devout fan of the gothic, romantic and symbolist traditions, I may well have enjoyed it more – as it was, I felt it to be a beautifully illustrated fairytale that was somehow missing its text. Ironically, in a piece that was about the (literal) stealing of a heart, Vampyria lacked heart. It seems to stay on one level throughout; a feeling reinforced by the rather relentless recorded soundtrack that offers no escape, no light to the dark. This element of light (it is no coincidence that Bram Stoker’s heroine is called Lucy) could so easily have been developed – in both sound and visual elements. As it was, Vampyria stayed with the Teen Goth territory of the dark and doomed – Eros might have been evoked but Thanatos rules, OK?

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-1
p. 25