Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Here is the programme bill for the 1820 The Vampire, starring T.P. Cooke.
Notice the elucidation on vampires, necessary since they were not part of English folklore:

This Piece is founded on the various traditions concerning THE VAMPIRES...they cannot be destroyed, as long as they sustain their dreadful Existence, by imbibing the BLOOD of FEMALE VICTIMS...

Also of note, T.P. Cooke was director of melodramatic action of the piece (the scenery and equipment by all accounts overwhelmed the audience), decades before the idea of direction came into stage practice.

And, the bill states that "applause at conclusion of each performance has lasted for several minutes." Contemporary reviews bear this out.