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Northern Stage to focus on Mary Shelley

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A new play exploring the remarkable life of one of literature’s greatest writers, Mary Shelley, opens at Northern Stage (formerly Newcastle Playhouse) from Tuesday 22 May and runs until Saturday 26 May.

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 18-years-old.

The young Mary, having lost her mother the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, 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.

Helen Edmundson is an award-winning playwright whose work for Shared Experience includes The Clearing, War and Peace, Gone to Earth, Mill on the Floss and Anna Karenina.

Playing ‘Mary Shelley’ is Kristin Atherton. Recent credits include Enemy of the People and Confessions of the People (Sheffield Theatres) and The Importance of Being Earnest (English Theatre Of Vienna). She’s joined by Flora Nicholson as ‘Fanny Wollstonecraft’, and Ben Lamb as ‘Percy Bysshe Shelley’.

‘William Godwin’ is performed by William Chubb, recent stage roles include Eden End (ETT), Yes, Prime Minister and for television BBC One drama Silk. Shannon Tarbet is ‘Jane Clairmont’ with Sadie Shimmin completing the cast as ‘Mrs Godwin’.

Tickets for Mary Shelley can be reserved by calling the Northern Stage Box Office on 0191 230 5151 or by visiting the Northern Stage website.


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