Nosferatu, Barbican Theatre, review – Telegraph
It’s not, as one might expect, an attempt to stage the legendary 1922 German expressionist silent horror film by FW Murnau – that would have been interesting. It’s not even, either, a valuable digest of Bram Stoker’s immortal Dracula (1897), though director Grzegorz Jarzyna has drawn on the novel for inspiration and you probably need to be acquainted with the tale to figure out what on earth is going on for the 110-minute duration.
The evening proceeds at an infernally slow pace. White curtains billow atmospherically to one side of a large modern communal living-area dotted with couches. By degrees we identify the cluster of assembled characters – who sometimes mill about, sometimes stand stock-still and often appear infected by the urge to offer up Chekhovian pronouncements of a pseudo-scientific and philosophical nature about neutrinos, time and what-have-you.
There’s some thunder and a few flashes of lightning but it barely registers as frightening. Jarzyna “reads” the book not as a cue to have his audience shaking in mortal dread but as an invitation to embrace your inner vampire.
The primary victim of Wolfgang Michael’s grey-faced Nosferatu (who bears 50 shades of a tired office-worker) is the ravishing Lucy Westenra (Sandra Korzeniak), a young woman afflicted by drowsiness. She keeps wandering off in a stupefied daze while the menfolk – including her concerned fiancé Arthur Holmwood, the insane, insect-eating Renfield and baffled medical authority Dr Seward – try to fathom her malaise.