Wednesday 24 February 2010

A Vampire Story

I'm a member of Kilkenny Youth Theatre, which is part of Barnstorm Theatre Company, a really famous theatre company in Ireland who produces brilliant plays for children. In Kilkenny Youth Theatre, there are twelve of us, from 13 years to 16, and we're doing a play called A Vampire Story by Moira Buffini. And I play one of the main characters, Eleanor!!!!! (Everyone else finds it really confusing, since I'm also called Eleanor (duh!) and another main character called Ella is called Eleanor by everyone else in the play. Everyone else gets really mixed up, but I find it hilarious.)

In the play, sixteen year-old Eleanor and twenty-one year-old Claire arrive in a nameless small town. Their relationship is not clear. Are they really sisters, or is Claire Eleanor's mother? Eleanor goes to school and Claire gets a job in a pub.

During an exercise in her drama class, Eleanor confesses that she has been alive for over two hundred years and has survived by drinking human blood. Her classmates think she is utterly crazy and Mint, her teacher, puts her in touch with the school counsellor. She makes one friend, Frank, a boy who has been home educated and is as much of an oddity as Eleanor. He tries to get to the bottom of her vampire delusion, thinking it an epic and compelling psychosis. Why would anyone want to be undead?

Frank’s parents believe that Ella is an anorexic - why does she never eat? Eleanor has started to write her life story as a play. She describes Claire’s background as a prostitute in 19th century London and her own as a child in a private orphanage. Meanwhile, things are falling apart. People are disappearing. Are Eleanor and Claire vampires? Or are they troubled young women on the run?

The play is split between the 19th and 21st centuries. I play Eleanor in the 19th century, and my friend Bronagh plays Eleanor in the 21st. I'm so excited! As rehearsals go on, I'll be posting pictures, and perhaps even videos! I'm so happy!

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