Bloodsucking vampires or troubled teens? St Albans theatre group ask you to decide with new play

A Vampire Story

A Vampire Story - Credit: Archant

Two young women arrive in a small British town. Their names are not their own, they don’t declare their ages. One takes a job, the other goes to school. Are they sisters, or mother and daughter? Then people start to disappear. Are Clare and Ella vampires, or troubled young women on the run?

These are the questions posed by the Company of Teens in their production of Moira Buffini’s A Vampire Story, taking place at the Abbey Theatre Studio next week.

Especially written to be performed by young people, the play was intended to be ambiguous and open to interpretation, being more about teenagers and whether they fit in than actual vampires.

Grace Carson, 17, plays Ella, a rather reclusive young girl, who tells her drama class that she has lived for over 200 years by drinking human blood. Her classmates think she is crazy, and her only friend is fellow newbie and outsider Frank.

“Ella is out of touch with society,” explained Grace. “She finds solace in writing her history, and in her friendship with Frank. Both of them are strange. Their choice of language is genuinely funny. The play is full of uncertainty as to whether Ella is truly a vampire or simply psychotic, but what remains honest is her friendship with Frank.”

Joe Wackett, also 17, plays Frank. He admitted that A Vampire Story sounds like a Gothic horror: “Actually it is very much the opposite. It is set mostly around a sixth form and follows the growing friendship between Frank and Ella. Frank is a loner too. He has spent 16 years stuck at home with his pushy parents, and has few social skills to help him fit in.”

“We are performing in the studio which has given us lots of freedom to experiment with the space. We have chosen to create a traverse stage (with the audience on both sides) which adds to the already intimate feel of the play.”

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Director Philip Reardon added: “Our young people rose to the exciting challenge admirably, finding and enhancing the humour, then progressing to uncovering and exploring the multi-dimensional aspects of the play.

Performances take place in the Abbey Theatre Studio from Tuesday July 12 to Friday July 15 at 8pm. To book tickets click here or call the box office on 01727 857861.