New adaptation of Frankenstein by local writer to be staged in Oxford in January

Frankenstein, 31st Jan – 5th Feb 2023. 7:30pm Tue-Sat, 2:00pm Sat-Sun.

Tickets £15, available from the Old Fire Station website.

At The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AQ

Local theatre company Wild Goose Theatre are staging a brand new, faithful adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic gothic novel penned by local writer Billy Morton at The Old Fire Station this Winter. The play is filled with Shelley’s original language, as well as physical theatre underscored by traditional sea shanties. The performers are a mix of Oxford locals, students and alumni.

Wild Goose Theatre (formerly Tomahawk Theatre) has been performing Shakespeare plays at Oxford Castle every summer for over ten years, and is excited to return indoors for another piece of classic English literature.

Oxford is the perfect place for a new production of Frankenstein, with some of the original manuscripts being housed in the Bodleian Library, and Mary Shelley’s husband Percy Shelley being expelled from University College. The company even had a few rehearsals at University College, the home of the Shelley Memorial.

Craig Finlay as Victor Frankenstein
Craig Finlay stars as Victor Frankenstein

Writer / Director Billy Morton was inspired by shows like The Woman in Black to use a frame narrative, with sailors on Captain Walton’s Arctic expedition acting out Frankenstein’s tragic tale.

He was also inspired by the resurgence of sea shanties on TikTok during the pandemic to include them underscoring the play. He says

“I’m very excited to have adapted this iconic English novel in a new and fresh way, while staying faithful to Shelley’s original text. What’s interesting is so many of the themes – technology going too far, man vs nature, dysfunctional family dynamics – are all still so pertinent today.”

The company is also excited to have secured an iconic British voice over artist for a cameo at the end of the play, which will remain a secret.

2023 marks 200 years since the first staged adaptation of the novel, and Wild Goose Theatre is proud to be contributing to its legacy. Frankenstein is on the GCSE and A-Level syllabus, and this production, being uniquely faithful to the original story, is a perfect way for students to gain a new understanding of the text.

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