Svengali is a new play written and directed by Eve Nicol. The play is produced in association with Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Pleasance Theatre.
Set in modern-day Britain, Svengali is freely adapted from the best-selling novel of the 19th century – Trilby, by George Du Maurier. We are making the show for an audience that loves TV shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Killing Eve and have FKA twigs on their Spotify rotation.
Svengali asks, “can we find freedom when giving up control?” It tells the story of a young woman’s strange and seductive relationship to a hypnotic mentor who can conjure supernatural, fame-making acts out of her. Their combined star ascends as she loses her sense of self-identity.
Svengali is a monologue play created for studio spaces. It is written for a young female performer who will play the older, male Svengali-like mentor. The show relies on charm and storytelling as the primary form of communication.
Playwright and director Eve Nicol said: “Before there was Dracula, Svengali quickened the hearts of readers. Hypnotic and despotic, Svengali’s relationship with his protégée has transcended its literary beginnings to become the very definition of pervasive influence today. I’m excited to resurrect this seductive villain and reposition a polarising figure for the #MeToo era. ’Svengali’ continues my conversation of exploring thorny modern relationships with audiences, pulling back the curtain on the secret dynamic between a mentor and student.”