Dracula, a toy theatre – Edward Gorey





This is my ultimate birthday present!

I like 19th Century pen-and-ink drawings. I strongly feel I would have married Edward Gorey (who is positively a genious and loves cats), had he been a tad younger and less bearded. I’m startlingly pale-skinned and sensitive to strong sunlight, which must mean I have lived a previous life as a fanged creature of the night. I’m also almost inappropriately fascinated by beautiful toys.  So my natural reaction to discovering this magnificent set was immediate swooning. I then fainted and finally passed out.  I’m actually writing this from the floor.

A toy theatre based on Edward Goreys stage adaption of Bram Stoker’s Dracula!

•3 pop-up 40 x 30cm (16 x 12″) stage sets

•Cast of 8 (15 figures in all)

•Stage Props and Furniture

•4-page booklet with easy-to-follow assebly instructions, a synopsis of Gorey’s Broadway adaptation of Dracula, and notes on Edward Gorey  and his wonderful production and magical creations.

•Cigar-box style packaging,

I knew that Gorey, apart from his own production, have made paperback book covers. I also knew that he has illustrated entire books, classic novels such as H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds and T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats -even some fairy tales. But his involvment in a stage production if “Dracula” on Broadway came as a complete surprise to me.

In 1924 Bram  Stoker’s classical novel Dracula was rewritten for the stage by Hamilton Deane (revised in 1927 by John L. Balderston) , and in 1977 a revival of the play was set up on Broadway.  Edward Gorey was asked to do the complete sets, backgrounds and costumes for the production. His designs won him a Tony Award for Best Costume Design, as well as a nomination for Best Scenic Design. The play was a huge success and made a star out of Dracula actor Frank Langella, who was nominated for Best Leading Actor. Dracula played 900 performances

In 1977 Bram Stoker’s Dracula was republished with Goreys illustration, and eventually his Broadway Dracula project led to this marvellous toy theatre.

Somehow Dracula is not that scary to me in Gorey’s version, though, and I can sleep well at night. Not like when I watched Rosemary’s Baby hidden behind a door. I was eleven and had never seen anything as esquisitively scary. My mother discovered me and sent me to bed and I never got to see the end of the film. It still haunts me today as the most frightening thriller ever. I get goosebumps and shiver all over just thinking about it. There is no way I can ever watch the end of the movie and ruin the absolute and ultimate scaring experience of my life. I guess Goreys Theatre is the perfect opportunity for me to process and come to terms with scary stage productions. Dracula is a cute little fang-bunny compared to the people in Rosemary’s Baby.


Here is a link to a youtube clip I found!














Edward Gorey’s Dracula: Manuscript.







Edward Gorey with cats.







7 thoughts on “Dracula, a toy theatre – Edward Gorey

    • Yay! Maybe we can do splits… You get the beard, I get the illustrations and the cats! Well – that will be beyond the pearly gates… Really glad you liked the post!

      • I can take on beards but only if they come with some extras, so I’m still claiming at least one cat! 🙂

      • So you are a really tough bargainer… I’ll have to learn from you when I go to haggle in the Istambul bazaars next time… But you got yourself a deal: You get the calico overweight one, and I’ll throw in one Gorey sideburn as well… 🙂

  1. Pingback: Lit Loves: Edward Gorey - Story by ModCloth

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