THE great-grandson of the world's first Dracula actor slipped into Warrington under the cover of darkness to celebrate the memory of his ancestor's links with the town.

John Eastwood, the great-grandson of Frederick Alkin, made the trip from Switzerland to join Dracula scholar and Latchford author Andy Struthers, who made a unique discovery regarding the work of Bram Stoker and how Warrington played its part in the evolution of the famous story.

Andy, who has been involved with a number of research projects into the book's historic origins, said the town should be proud that a version of the play was presented by Harry Warburton at the Royal Court Theatre, Warrington, in September 1927.

This was the only venue where this version of the play was showcased.

He said: "What many are unaware of is that this matinee showing was totally unique.

"Bram Stoker's widow Florence thought it better for her to take sole control of the production, so had Hamilton Deane's popular play completely rewritten.

"This version was reworked by Charles Morrell, and was presented by Harry Warburton's No 1 company here in Warrington.

"Not only was this production shown only here, but theatregoers were also given chance to see the world's first Count Dracula actor in the process."

The man who donned the cape for this one-off showing of Stoker's own version was Frederick Alkin, who was billed under his stage name Edmund Blake.

During the meeting the men discussed the possibility of this production being brought back to this town and also having a lasting memorial so that future generations are aware this piece of history.