EAST Lothian's only professional theatre is back in action after a two-year closure with a new director and a bright new #1.8m refit. It's also got a new play, Patrick Prior's adaptation of the Bram Stoker novel, and it strikes me that this is the chief obstacle in an otherwise promising start.

I could complain of Prior's failure to explain who any of his characters are, and of his inability to finish scenes with any sense of drama (you know they're over when the actors drift off stage), but these faults are merely symptomatic of an adaptation that has neither shaken off the shackles of the novel, nor found an alternative to the visually-based storytelling of film. On stage, the fragmented plot and reliance on special effects only highlight the limitations of theatre.

David Mark Thomson's production seems to be hampered rather than liberated by the theatre's new technical capacity. Instead of the actors creating the atmospherics, they're left looking awkward until the next striking lighting state or high-definition sound effect. The pace is stilted as a result.

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Midway through the second half, however, things start falling into shape. Prior gets his teeth into the philosophical themes of the story, finding contemporary resonance in the idea of the evil within us all, much as David Edgar in his recent treatment of Jekyll and Hyde. There's a powerful seduction scene between Dracula (Graham McTavish) and Mina (Julie McCahill), both frightening and erotic, heightened by Jarmila Gorna's disquieting score. From then on it's a straight journey to a chilling stake-through-the-heart finale.