Opening the book on author’s tale

Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company will be presenting powerful new play Mary Shelley at the Playhouse from April 17 to May 5.

In a co-production with Shared Experience and West Yorkshire Playhouse, in association with Oxford Playhouse, Mary Shelley, by Helen Edmundson, opens the book the book on the Frankenstein author’s extraordinary life.

Written by award-winning playwright Helen Edmundson, Mary Shelley is a bold exploration of the radical beliefs and relationships that led the author of Frankenstein to write one of the greatest novels in history when she was just 19. Directed by Shared Experience’s Artistic Director Polly Teale, this production reunites the acclaimed theatre company with Nottingham Playhouse for the first time since 2009’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

The young Mary, having lost her mother the feminist Mary Wolstonecraft, at an early age, finds comfort in reading the family memoir written by her father, radical philosopher William Godwin.

However, his free-thinking account of her mother’s suicide attempt, extra-marital affair and birth of her illegitimate elder daughter are regarded by society as shocking.

Sharing her father’s controversially liberal outlook, Mary is herself drawn into scandal when she falls in love with Percy Bysshe Shelley, a married poet, and elopes at 16.

Delving into Mary Shelley’s turbulent personal history this striking production sheds light on the life of a bold young woman who came to write a novel so radical in its ideology, she changed the literary landscape forever.

Giles Croft, artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse, commented: “We are thrilled to be co-producing Mary Shelley with Shared Experience and West Yorkshire Playhouse, in association with Oxford Playhouse.

“Our previous collaborations with Shared Experience include The Caucasian Chalk Circle, War and Peace and A Passage to India, all of which resulted in some outstanding theatre and I know Mary Shelley will offer audiences a night of gripping and beautifully staged theatre.”

Tickets are £7.50–£26.50 and are available by calling the box office on 0115 941 9419.