AUB is marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein with a season of plays to celebrate its author Mary Shelley
Part of the Shelley Frankenstein Festival, the plays will help to celebrate the author who is buried in St Peter’s Church, in Bournemouth.
And, to add even more poignancy to the series, the shows will take place in the Shelley Theatre, a venue built for Mary by her son Sir Percy Florence Shelley.
The first of those productions is called Mary Shelley, a play by Helen Edmundson and directed by Helen Watts.
This compelling play explores a crucial episode in Mary Shelley’s remarkable life – her meeting and scandalous elopement aged sixteen with Percy Bysshe Shelley, and its consequences on her family and father.
Her parents, radical feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft and political philosopher William Godwin, are struggling under the weight of heavy debts. When young poet Percy Bysshe Shelley becomes a regular visitor to the house, his financial stability and dangerous charisma charms the family, especially Godwin’s three young daughters.
But it is feisty young Mary who becomes the object of his affections. Mary Shelley brings to life this extraordinary tale which led Mary to write one of the greatest novels in the English language, Frankenstein, which changed the literary landscape forever.
Speaking about the play, BA (Hons) Course Leader Katharine Piercey said: “The focus of much of the play is inside her family home and explores her relationship with her father, her stepmother and her sisters who were all so pivotal in her writing.
“She also talks about her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, so we see her early influences so that’s why that play is really exciting and important.
“Overall, it’s going to be a really exciting season of plays and it’s great for our students that they have the chance to collaborate.
“They all appreciate the production values because the sets, costumes and make-up are so fantastic – it’s what makes AUB special.”
Mary Shelley Details
Shelley Theatre, Beechwood Avenue, Bournemouth, BH5 1LX
Thursday, November 8: 7.30pm
Saturday, November 10: 7.30pm
Sunday, November 11: 2.30pm
Available from the Shelley Theatre Website or the Box Office.
Prices: £10 – full price, £5 – NUS card holders