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New UK tour of Frankenstein announced

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

A NEW theatrical adaptation of Mary Shelley’s seminal 1818 gothic horror novel Frankenstein is set to depict Shelley onstage, as she unfolds her monstrous tale of creature and creator.

Adapted by award-winning writer Rona Munro and co-produced by leading company Selladoor (in the company’s tenth anniversary year), Matthew Townshend Productions, Belgrade Theatre Coventry, and Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts, the production will tour nationwide from September 2 to November 30, 2019.

A national press night will be held at the Belgrade Theatre Coventry on Thursday, October 3 at 7pm.

Further dates and casting will be announced in due course.

An eighteen year-old girl, Mary Shelley, dreams up a monster whose tragic story will capture the imaginations of generations to come.

A young scientist by the name of Frankenstein breathes life into a gruesome body. Banished into an indifferent world, Frankenstein’s creature desperately seeks out his true identity, but the agony of rejection and a broken promise push him into darkness. Dangerous and vengeful, the creature threatens to obliterate Frankenstein and everyone he loves, in a ferocious and bloodthirsty hunt for his maker.

Rona Munro’s brilliant new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece places the writer herself amongst the action as she wrestles with her creation and with the stark realities facing revolutionary young women, then and now.

Rona Munro said of the new production: “This story has been told and retold in hundreds of different versions since it was first written. But it remains the dark and rebellious roar of its adolescent author. Mary Shelley was only eighteen when she wrote the novel and she’d already broken every social rule that should have shaped her life. That’s the version of Frankenstein I’ve returned to, the version of the novel. The story is told in the voice of that defiant and passionate young girl accusing her elders, the culture of her age and intent on terrifying the whole world.”

Anna Fox, Head of New Work at Selladoor Creation, said: “Selladoor Creation are delighted to be working with Rona to create a dramatic reinvention of this classic story. We relish the work we do with writers, so we are proud to be a part of a production that will examine the writers’ process in such an innovative way. It has been a fascinating journey to go on with the piece, and we are excited for this bold new take on a beloved gothic horror to be brought to life for audiences of today.”

The production will be directed by Patricia Benecke and designed by Becky Minto, with composition and sound design by Simon Slater and lighting design by Grant Anderson.

The tour opens at Perth Theatre, Perth (September 5 – 21) before continuing to Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury (September 24 – 28), Belgrade Theatre, Coventry (October 1 – 12), Brighton Theatre Royal, Brighton (October 14 – 19), New Theatre, Cardiff (October 28 – November 2), Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford (November 4 – 9), Liverpool Playhouse, Liverpool (November 11 – 16) and Theatre Royal Glasgow (November 25 – 30).