NEWS: Brand-new production celebrating the life of Mary Shelley to tour Scotland this spring
In celebration of 200 years since the publication of her most famous novel Frankenstein, The Occasion Theatre has announced the Scottish tour of their new production exploring the life of Mary Shelley.
Directed by Peter Clerke and written by Stewart Ennis, The Monster and Mary Shelley is an atmospheric, moving, and at times darkly comic exploration of fear.
June 1816 – the year without a summer. At the age of 18, having recently watched her premature baby die, Mary Shelley has a ‘waking dream’ and begins to write a story that will haunt and define her for the rest of her life.
An atmospheric, moving, and at times darkly comic exploration of fear, incorporating elements of music hall, melodrama, horror and teenage rebellion with a pulsing contemporary cinematic score, The Monster and Mary Shelley explores the life of this celebrated author – the Gothic Girl who electrified the world.
The production opens at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow on Friday 20th April, with an additional performance on Saturday 21st April. Following performances at The Tron the show will tour to Platform, Glasgow (Wed 25th Apr), Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling (Thu 26th Apr), The Byre Theatre, St. Andrews (Wed 2nd May), Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock (Thu 3rd May), Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre, Peebles (Fri 4th May), The Brunton, Musselburgh (Sat 5th May), Mull Theatre, Tobermory (Mon 7th May), Skye Theatre – Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Isle of Skye (Wed 9th May), Universal Hall, Findhorn (Fri 11th May) and Lyth Arts Centre, Wick (Sat 12th May).
The Occasion Theatre’s Co-Artistic Director Peter Clerke directs. Peter studied at the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris and was a founder member and Co-Artistic Director of benchtours (1991 – 2009) directing or performing in all of their productions. He was also Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Lung Ha’s and spent five years at Edinburgh’s Theatre Workshop. From 2009 – 2015 he was the Artistic Director of Blue Apple Theatre, Winchester, one of Southwest England’s leading learning disability arts organisations.
Peter said:“To create a work around the life of Mary Shelley has been a process of mining a rich, deep vein. While the many excitements and joys of her life were always paralleled with sadness and loss, Mary Shelley never lost sight of her beliefs in human dignity, equality and libertarianism. She was a woman many years before her time and maintains a striking resonance in the present day. We have tried, throughout, to make a work that both celebrates her life, whilst also reflecting her continued relevance to the 21st century.” He added: As a company, The Occasion is very excited to be touring this show to communities across Scotland, from the Borders to Caithness, from Renfrewshire to Fife. We strongly believe in making theatre which is accessible to all. This tour very much realises our ambitions and we greatly look forward to welcoming audiences, throughout the country, to spend a night with Mary… and her Monster.”
The Monster and Mary Shelley is written by Stewart Ennis. Stewart was a founding member of benchtours and has worked with many Scottish theatre companies. Originally trained as a performer at East 15 and the Ecole Philipe Gaulier, he is also Creative Writing tutor at HMP Shotts. Other plays include, The Dark Room, The Taking of Zena Charbonne, One Straight Line, and Robert Burns Celtic Complex. His first novel, Blessed Assurance will be published by Vagabond Voices in September 2018. Stewart said: ” ‘My workshop of filthy creation’ is how Victor Frankenstein describes the room where he assembles his creature. Appalled that his creation is not as beautiful as he had imagined, and failing to recognize its heart and soul, he immediately abandons his ‘catastrophe’. If the show that we have created for you in our ‘workshop’ is not always beautiful, that will be no catastrophe, but I do hope that it will have heart and soul.”
Catherine Gillard plays Mary Shelley. Catherine studied at Sydney Acting School and the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris. She was a founder member and Co-Artistic Director of benchtours (1991 – 2009). Recent projects include Kill Me Now (Melanie Stewart Dance Theatre/Philadelphia Live Arts Festival), Apocalypse and The Taking of Zena Charbonne (The Occasion).
Richard Williams composes. Set and costume design is by Ali MacLaurin with Lighting Design by Paul Froy.
Tour Dates and Listing information
The Monster and Mary Shelley
Atmospheric, moving and darkly comic with a pulsing, cinematic score, this is a contemporary voyage into the life of Mary Shelley – the Gothic Girl who electrified the world. Presented by The Occasion Theatre.
Fri 20 – Sat 21 Apr
Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Tickets: £11/£8.50 conc.
Box Office: 0141 552 4267
Wed 25 Apr
Tickets: £8.50/£5 conc./£4 Local Links
Box Office: 0141 276 9696
Thu 26 Apr
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling
Tickets: £12.50/£10.50 conc./£5.50 students
Box Office: 01786 466 666
Wed 2 May
Byre Theatre, St. Andrews
Tickets: £12/£10 conc.
Box Office: 01334 475000
Thu 3 May
Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
Tickets: £12/£10 conc.
Box Office: 01475 723 723
Fri 4 May
Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, Peebles
Tickets: £14/£12/£16 U15s
Sat 5 May
The Brunton, Musselburgh
Tickets: £13.50/£11.50/£8.50 U18s
Mon 7 May
Mull Theatre, Tobermory
Wed 9 May
Skye Theatre, Isle of Skye
Tickets: £14/£12 Members/£7 Students and Young People/Seasons Free
Fri 11 May
Universal Hall, Findhorn
Tickets: £12/£10 Concs./£8 U16s
Sat 12 May
Lyth Arts Centre, Lyth