I always find the term ‘Contemporary Gothic’ a bit of an oxymoron. Surely the Gothic is necessarily about a distance past – albeit one that lacks an true authenticity and functions more as a palimpsest of the past. In one of our earliest discussions about the Gothic we wondered whether it was possible to have Science Fiction-Gothic (if you’ve watched Blade Runner the answer is yes).
However, the Gothic is incredibly current at the moment as evidenced by the number of events taking place to celebrate it. Last year, just as we were starting the Reading the Gothic group and blog, the BFI ran a celebration of Gothic films entitled ‘The Dark Heart of Film’. This year there will be a ‘Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination’, a celebration of Gothic literature at the British Library. Just in time for Halloween.
Over the past few months there have also been two ballet productions of Dracula. The West Yorkshire Playhouse showed its production, David Nixon’s Dracula, in September. The videos and stills look wonderful and it is interesting to note what aspects Nixon decided to draw out in his interpretation of the novel; something which was noted in The Guardian‘s review of the piece.
A little further south, the Arts Depot will be hosting Dracula performed by the Mark Bruce Company. This has also received excellent reviews (for comparison here is The Guardian’s review). Given all the hype around the Gothic at the moment it would seem the past is never truly put to rest.