Shortly after its publication in 1818, Frankenstein started inspiring stage adaptations . These theatrical reworkings continue today and there are many places you can catch them this summer.
In July, the Brighton Open Air Theatre Company (B.O.A.T) presents Frankenstein: A Modern Re-imagining centred around Angel, an alienated being, living on the fringes of today’s society. This production uses the plot of Frankenstein to address issues of perfection, gender, sexuality and transgenderism for modern audiences. This contemporary reworking of Frankenstein is a collaboration between SISATA and BAFTA-Award winning playwright John Foster and will be shown at numerous locations this summer including London, Reading and Bournemouth.
As part of the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, Alice Fraser offers a lighter enquiry into the themes of Frankenstein with her comedy show Ethos. This show meditates on questions of perfection and vanity and delves into the non-human mind. Connecting Frankenstein’s monster to the development of Artificial Intelligence, the performance raises many questions for the modern age.
FRNKNSTN, being shown at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in August, focuses on the character of Victor Frankenstein rather than his monster. This play presents Victor as a gene-splicing molecular biologist who creates a monster from his own DNA. This modern ghost story is set in Victor’s holding cell and interrogates the ethical issues that surround scientific advancements today.
These varying stage events will breathe new life into the original text. From themes of gender to the ethics of technological and scientific advancement, Frankenstein, especially in its 200th year, lends itself easily to the discussion of modern concerns.
The playbill from Ken Eulo’s The Frankenstein Affair (1979)