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With Friday 30 August marking both Frankenstein Day and Mary Shelley’s 222nd birthday, the cast of the Belgrade Theatre’s forthcoming co-production of Frankenstein have been marking the occasion by paying a visit to one of the author’s old haunts.
Atmospheric new images have today been released of the cast aboard the RRS Discovery in the Scottish city of Dundee, where a young Mary Shelley discovered her talent for writing in 1812, and where Victor Frankenstein himself sets sail for the Orkneys in her novel.
Born on 30 August 1979, Shelley wrote of her time in Tayside in 1812: “My habitual residence was on the blank and dreary northern shores of the Tay, near Dundee. Blank and dreary on retrospection I call them; they were not so to me then. They were the eyry of freedom, and the pleasant region where unheeded I could commune with the creatures of my fancy… My true compositions of the airy flights of my imagination were born and fostered.”
The new production has been adapted for the stage by Rona Munro, and places the author herself in the midst of the action, wrestling with her own creation. The images depict Eilidh Loan as Mary Shelley, and Ben Castle-Gibb as Victor Frankenstein.
The show is being co-produced by the Belgrade Theatre, together with Selladoor Worldwide, Matthew Townshend Productions, and Perth Theatre at Horsecross Arts.
Following his training at Arts Educational Schools, Ben Castle-Gibb makes his professional debut in the role. Credits while training include: It Never Happened, Treasure Island, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Radicalisation Of Bradley Manning and As You Like It.
Eilidh Loan will play Mary Shelley, the author unpacking her own horrific tale. Eilidh’s screen credits include: London Kills (BBC, Acorn TV), Doctors (BBC), Clique (BBC) and England’s Forgotten Queen (BBC). Her stage credits include: Me & My Left Ball (Tristan Bates Theatre).
Writer Rona Munro has written extensively for stage, radio, film and television. Her recent theatre credits include Lucy Barton, adapted from the novel by Elizabeth Strout and performed by Laura Linney at the Bridge Theatre London in 2018-19. Other credits include The James Plays: a trilogy of award-winning plays produced by the National Theatre of Scotland, the National Theatre UK and Edinburgh International Festival, Scuttlers (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester), Little Eagles (Royal Shakespeare Company) and Iron (Traverse Theatre, Royal Court Theatre) for which she won the John Whiting Award in 2003. Her television credits include the BAFTA-nominated Bumping the Odds (BBC Scotland) and Rehab (BBC Two), and her films include Ladybird Ladybird and Oranges and Sunshine. Her work for radio includes several dramas for The Stanley Baxter Playhouse. Rona is the only writer so far to have contributed episodes to both the classic and contemporary series of Doctor Who (BBC One).
Frankenstein shows at the Belgrade Theatre from 2-12 October as part of the B2 Season of Love and Belonging. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are cheaper. Book together for two or more shows in the season to claim 20% off your tickets.
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