probably be reviled, not so much for his blood-sucking and virgin- snatching as for his potential to spread AIDS. As it is, the Count is to be revived in various ways, for it is 100 years since Bram Stoker actually began writing the story of this hideous scourge of Victorian society — a fact of which Radio Scotland producer Hamish Wilson was ‘sublimely unaware’ when he mooted the idea of dramatising the romantic melodrama.
‘It’s a book which I have read, enjoyed and know very well,’ explains Wilson, ‘and it’s a story which I have always felt had a lot more to it than was available in the movies.’ Dramatist Nick McCarty was briefed to stick as closely as possible to the original text. Film-makers, says Wilson, have overlooked the importance of Stoker’s theme of friendship in the face of evil and the thread of barely suppressed sexuality which run through the book, and the full implications of Dracula’s sinister journey from Transylvania to Whitby, a west Yorkshire seaside resort.
Stoker’s main inspiration for Dracula seems to have been partly factual — a medieval character, called Vlad Dracul, who impaled his enemies by sticking sharp stakes into their nether regions. A good dose of folklore was mixed in — Count Dracula has no shadow or reflection; he cannot bear sunlight, nor the sight of a crucifix and he can, when the need arises, transform himself into a bat. The Boxing Day ‘Dracula Special’ edition of Queen ’3 Street Garden will discuss the legend of Dracula, as well as Francis Ford Coppola’s forthcoming Dracula ﬁlm, and Christopher Frayling’s Vampyres: Lord Byron to Count Dracula. There will also be interviews with the star-studded cast of the radio serial (Frederick Jaeger 'and Phyllis Logan, among others) and with Liz Lochhead, who wrote a feminist version of the story.
Wilson, who clearly revels in the idea of sending cold shivers down listeners’ spines, has not been entirely blasé about the dramatisation himself, ‘We weren’t taking any chances,’ he admits. ‘We decked the control room of the studio with cloves of garlic - just in case.’ (Miranda France)
Dracula starts at 11 pm, Thurs I 9 Dec, on Radio 4.
All the hype about Michael Jackson’s new album, Dangerous, hasn’t been able to conceal the tact that the eccentric llama lover’s music has about as close a relationship with the real world as lan Paisley has with Cardinal Hume. By contrast, Prince, who releases three or tour double albums to Jacko’s one, continues to make records that have some connection with reality, albeit the sleazlest and raunchiest kind.
This ls one of the themes oi an Omnibus prolile, The Prince Oi Paisley Park, shown on 8861 on Friday 13 December. The BBC’s culture crew visited the post-modern studio-cum-HO that is Paisley Park In Minneapolis to get the iull story on what makes the Purple personage tick, although the man himsell didn’t delgn to be interviewed.
“We had to get initial approval lrom Prince, Paisley Park and Warner Records,’ explains producer Bob Portway, ‘but since he’s such an elusive character, he decided he didn't want to be illmed that particular day or
any other day. A lot at the material
comes train a lllm archive which he keeps there.’
In the tradition ol recent Omnibus films on Tom Jones and Madonna, it’s an attempt to place a massively popular personality in the context at their chosen medium, looking at Prince’s relationship with pop past and present. “There’s never been any long prolile on Prince belore,’ says Portway. “This is a bit more in-depth, but still isn’t so much a prolile because we simply can’t get that close. We
mg Purple Majesty
relied on some very good people to give us some insights, but what we're really doing is trying to look at the music and what iniorrns it. We try to pick on certain themes such as the sexual angle, the way he appears to treat women in the slightly dubious videos, contrasted with the very good relationships he has with them. There are massive contradictions there.’ Proliles oi musicians and pop stars can be dogged with an obsessive quest lor iacts and statistics that reilect the star’s commercial success. Thankfully the Omnibus team don’t pursue this angle, prelerring to concentrate on the music and its themes. Those hoping tor detailed examination at the salaclous themes oi tracks like Jack U Oil, however, might be disappointed. Portway’s conclusions about Prince are rather more respectable. ‘What we gathered is his obsessiveness about music,’ he says. ‘Prince is like an encyclopaedia of musical history, encompassing the Beatles and Hendrix, heavy rock and rap, crossing over the barriers between white rock and roll and black musical styles.’ (Tom Lappin) Omnibus: The Prince Oi Paisley Park is on BBCl on Friday 13 December at .10.20pm.
Teenager dead - ofﬁcial!
it you should happen to be between the ages ol twelve and twenty, take a iresh look at yourself. Yes, you are a rare specimen. in a world dominated by crumny old incontinence victims, the teenager is a member at a dwindling band. ‘Demographically, the teenager is going down the tubes,’ insists Siobhan Mulholland, produce: of a Reportage special on the Death Ol The Teenage Rebel. ‘Young people don’t really amount to much any more. We’ve got a top-heavy population.’ The Reportage team open their programme with a look back into the archives to a time when being iliteen with acne and a bad attitude was a line and splendid thing. ‘In the 50s you had this group taking on this rebellious ldentity,‘ says Mulholland, “and going on into the 60s with mods and hippies, and the 70s with punk, and then into the 80s. But now social surveys, like the Henley lorecasting centre, are saying that the teenager no longer exists.’
Aminatta Forna: Reportage presenter
More disturbingly, those lew remaining youngsters are displaying ever more conservative traits, no doubt frustrated by the tact that their parents have already had all the best lun, lighting on Brighton beach and gobbing at Sham 69. ‘You llnd more young people now taking on the values of the older generation,’ coniinns Mulholland, ‘getting a job, a mortgage, a pension, getting married. All the rebellion’s been done.’
Not quite all, actually. in Japan the concept ol the teenager has just been born. They’re in ior 30 years oi iun belore the dream dies. Roll over Hirohito and tell Mlshima the news. (Amy Druszewski)
Reportage: BBCZ Wednesday 11 December, 6.50pm.
I Tadeusz Kantor On the ﬁrst anniversary of his death, Radio 3 pays tribute to the Polish director who revolutionised theatre by remaining on stage, directing his actors, during public performances. Among those taking part in the documentary are Jonathan Miller. Richard Demarco and members of Kantor‘s company, Cricot 2. (Radio 3, Fri 6, 9.30pm)
I Christ the Unauthorised Version As Christmas approaches, the recent discovery of some ancient Christian manuscripts suggests that, when it came to writing the Gospels, the Church may have censored material which did not ﬁt in with its own version of Christ’s message. Ronald Eyre presents another side to the story of Christianity. (Radio4, 7.20, Thurs 12)
I Van Morrison Paul Gambaccini traces the career of the man who looks more like a Catholic priest than a musician, from the debut album Astral Weeks to the recent recordings which are more traditionally Celtic in feel. (Radio 1. Sat 14, 2pm)
I The Mating Game Radio 4‘s truly bizarre quiz show has contestants pretending to be animals and answering survival-of- the-fittest-type questions. ‘The aim is to grow up, ﬁnd food, avoid being eaten and ﬁnally, to identify the mating call of their species,’ explains my blurb. Johnny Morris must have had a hand, or paw, in this. (Radio4, starts Mon 16, 10.02am, FM only)
I Fight for Barbara DH. Lawrence‘s play. based on his clopement with Frieda Weekcs. the wife ofa university professor, was not performed until 1967. In it Robert Wesson, a miner‘s son. and his married lover Barbara ﬂee to Tuscany with her aristocratic parents and jilted husband in hot pursuit. 4. Mon 16,
I Outragel A year in the life of Britain's most controversial gay rights group: the programme covers the Queer Wedding in Trafalgar Square. the kiss-in at Piccadilly Circus and the ‘exorcism of homophobia‘ from Lambeth Palace, as well as an interview with Simon Fanshawe, ofthe more reticent Stonewall group. ‘Out, loud and proud‘ documentary at its best. (Radio 5, Thurs 19,
74 The List 6- 19 December 1991