By Peter Roberts
Wednesday 24 - Saturday 27 October 2018| Guildhall Theatre, Derby
The Lost Boys and Derby LIVE coproduction that told the story of Frankenstein and also the story of the novel’s creation.
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is probably the greatest horror story ever told. Published exactly 200 years ago and written when she was just 19.
This gripping production from the pen of Peter Roberts, interweaves the story of Frankenstein with the story of the novel’s creation. Both stories prove to be equally fascinating.
In 1814, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary had scandalised society by eloping together. They were not married. Or at least, not to each other. In the summer of 1816 they escaped to Switzerland. There they joined the “mad, bad and dangerous to know” Lord Byron. They were accompanied by Mary’s half-sister, Claire. Unbeknown to them, Claire was already pregnant. And Lord Byron was the father.
These great writers, Romantics and lovers decided upon a competition – who could write the best horror story? Thus Frankenstein was born. And history was created.
Creative & Production Team
What the Playwright thought...
Just one word to sum up the performance - brilliant! I was bowled over not only by every individual performance, but also by the way the cast performed as an ensemble. Paul I thought gave a great portrayal of Shelley; it went beyond the urbane and sweet-natured Shelley of A Romantic Affair and showed a more complex man, while his Frankenstein was memorably poignant. And he managed all those character changes seamlessly. Ben was, as usual, electrifying as Byron, the powerful central character that kept us riveted, and he maintained the strong narrative momentum throughout. I couldn't ever envisage a better Byron! Matt was a great choice, too - took all three parts well, but his Polidori brought out every facet - he was lugubrious, poignant, honest, kindly, and sardonic, by turns: highly impressive. And the girls - what can I say? Anna proved a revelation - she was perfect as Mary; couldn't believe it was her first straight theatre role - I hope she goes on to many more! And Laura was an ideal Claire: passionate, determined, tragically devoted. And what a lovely blend of voices!