I was contacted last month by John O’Rourke, an assistant producer at the BBC. John had discovered Vampire Over London: The Bela Lugosi Blog and thought that the story of Bela Lugosi’s 1951 British revival tour of Dracula would be an “incredible subject” for the BBC to mark Halloween with.
He originally envisioned producing a four-minute film for BBC One’s flagship daily magazine series The One Show, but was ultimately unable to get the green-light from his commissioners.
However, when he mentioned the story of the tour in passing to one of his colleagues at BBC Online, he was asked to write a feature. Myself and Frank J. Dello Stritto were asked to help with background information and to provide illustrations for the article.
“A Dracula Disaster: When Bela Lugosi Came To Britain” has now been published on the BBC’s online ARTS page at:
Bela Lugosi and Sheila Wynn at the Lewisham Hippodrome in 1951
The page also features Mark Gatiss’ interview with Sheila Wynn, Bela Lugosi’s leading lady on the 1951 tour, from his excellent 2010 “A History of Horror” series. You can read Frank J. Dello Stritto’s 1998 interview with Sheila on our 1951 British Dracula Tour – Exclusive Interviews With The Cast & Company page.
Sheila Wynn interviewed by Mark Gatiss at the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne in 2010.
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