An adaptation of Mary Shelley’s gothic novel Frankenstein is to be staged at Durham’s Gala Theatre. The play, put on by the touring company Blackeyed Theatre, will be a highly original interpretation of Shelley’s classic, featuring both human actors and puppets, as well as live music.
The play has been adapted from the novel by John Ginman, who worked on a production of another gothic classic, Dracula, in 2013. Ginman’s version of Frankenstein will be set in the Nineteenth century in the Swiss city of Geneva. Frankenstein’s monster will be represented by a Japanese-style Bunraku puppet, built especially for the show by Yvonne Stone. Stone also created the puppets used in The National Theatre production Warhorse.
Described as ‘a tale of obsession and adventure’ and ‘unique and captivating’, the play has been given five stars by the magazine Broadsheet Boutique. Blackeyed Theatre is described by The Stage magazine as “one of the most innovative, audacious companies working in contemporary English theatre.”
Eliot Giuralarocca, the play’s director, said, “I’m really excited to be directing Frankenstein. It’s a taut, gripping thriller, an exciting gothic fairy tale for grown-ups and a morality play all rolled into one.”
Giuralarocca added, “It’s always a daunting challenge to attempt to breathe new life into a classic, but with a wonderful ensemble cast and a fusion of bold storytelling, music, sound and Bunraku-style puppetry, I’m hoping we can bring Mary Shelley’s gothic fairy tale kicking and screaming into life.’
Frankenstein will be staged at the Gala on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th October. Tickets cost £15. (£13 for concessions) Bookings can be made by phone on 03000 266 600 or online at www.galadurham.co.uk
Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelley, the wife of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelly, when a group of guests at a house on Lake Geneva had a competition to see who could write the best horror story. In addition to the Shelleys, another member of the group was the poet Lord Byron. Reflecting unease about rapid technological advancements, Frankenstein is the story of a young scientist who succeeds in making an artificial man. However, his ‘creature’ soon rebels against him, with dreadful consequences. As well as inspiring countless horror films, Frankenstein is also seen as one of the earliest science fiction stories.