WHAT’S ON OCTOBER: Local writer’s play being performed in Paisley
Following a successful Scottish tour in spring 2018, The Occasion Theatre’s The Monster and Mary Shelley, written by Stewart Ennis, will return this autumn for a UK tour.
The Monster and Mary Shelley is an outlandish trip through the mind of one of literature’s most influential imaginations.
On a sun-less day at their villa in Switzerland, Lord Byron challenges his guests Percy and Mary Shelley to each write a ghost story. Two days later Mary, 18 years old and having recently watched her premature baby die, has a ‘waking dream’ and begins to write a story that will haunt and define her for the rest of her life.
Incorporating elements of music hall, melodrama, horror and teenage rebellion with a pulsing contemporary cinematic score, The Monster and Mary Shelley is an atmospheric, moving, and darkly comic exploration of fear and the Gothic Girl who electrified the world.
The show is directed by The Occasion Theatre’s Co-Artistic Director Peter Clerke, written by Stewart Ennis and performed by Catherine Gillard.
Stewart hails from Bridge of Weir. His very first job on leaving Linwood High school in the late 70s was a trainee journalist on the Paisley Gazette. He’s also an ex RAI nurse. A career as an actor followed, primarily in theatre, but some may know him from his recurring role as Cllr McVitie in Still Game. Stewart also recently published his debut novel Blessed Assurance which refers to fictionalised versions of Paisley and Bridge of Weir.
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 Clerke, director of The Monster and Mary Shelley said:
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to re-tour this hugely enjoyable show, both to more venues across Scotland and, with the support from ACE, to break new ground in England.
Never far from controversy, Shelley, throughout her lifetime, was at the forefront of social change in a turbulent world. Her exploration of fear, in the form of Frankenstein’s Monster, spawned a whole genre of fiction and continues to hold a massive relevance in the present day. We very much look forward to introducing The Monster and Mary Shelley to new audiences across the UK.”
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, The Taking of Zena Charbonne and YOU ARE HERE! (The Occasion.)
Richard Williams composes. Set and costume design is by Ali MacLaurin with lighting design by Paul Froy.
The Monster and Mary Shelley will play Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley on Thursday 24 October. For further information and to book tickets, please visit www.renfrewshireboxoffice.ticketsolve.com