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Gothic tale set for Haddo House

By David Porter

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Following a successful Scottish tour in spring 2018, The Occasion Theatre’s The Monster and Mary Shelley comes to Haddo House as part of UK tour.

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.

Director Peter Clerke 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.”

Writer Stewart Ennis was a founding member of benchtours (1991 – 2009) and has worked with many Scottish theatre companies.

Originally trained as a performer at East 15 and the Ecole Philipe Gaulier, he was for several years Creative Writing tutor at HMP Shotts.

Other plays include, The Dark Room, The Taking of Zena Charbonne, One Straight Line, and Robert Burns Celtic Complex.

He has recently begun a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen and Curtin University in Western Australia.

Catherine Gillard who plays Mary Shelley studied at Sydney Acting School and the Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris.

The Monster and Mary Shelley will play Haddo House on Sunday, October 20.

For further information and to book tickets, please visit www.nts.cloudvenue.co.uk.

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