The most famous and enduring characters don’t just overshadow their creations, they usually consume them. It’s easy to imagine the naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming, for instance, as a proto-James Bond, or Arthur Conan Doyle’s marvelling at the deductive methods of Dr Joseph Bell as rehearsal for Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Paul Walker’s new play about Bram Stoker for Ouroboros Theatre Company largely resists the temptation to glibly shape Stoker’s biography as just a preamble of inspirations leading to the invention of Dracula. But it is also shrewdly aware of the gothic expectations of its audience.