Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mary & Mary on stage, on tour

Here's a new play entitled Mary Shelley, with - it would appear - an emphasis on that young woman's ghostly relationship with her dead parent:

Having lost her mother, feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, at an early age, young Mary finds comfort in reading the family memoir written by her father, the 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....Delving into Mary Shelley’s turbulent personal history this striking production sheds light on the life of a bold young woman....
(From The Morley Observer.)  However, the West Yorkshire Playhouse,  where Mary Shelley launches its "world premiere tour", doesn't mention Our Lady:
This powerful new play explores Shelley's remarkable life: her controversial philosopher father, her scandalous elopement aged 16 and how she wrote a novel, so radical in its ideology, that in 1817 she changed the literary landscape forever.
We shall see. The company is Shared Experience, the playwright Helen Edmundson, the director Polly Teale. Mary Shelley is a co-production between the company and the Nottingham and West Yorkshire Playhouses, in association with the Oxford one. It launches in Leeds from 16 March to 7 April, tours half a dozen cities, landing finally at the Tricycle in London 12 June to 7 July.

[Addendum: some thoughtful comments in an interview between Catherine Noonan and Polly Teale on "Female-led theatre in an imperfect world".] [And a review from la petite feministe anglaise, Sarah Graham.]

Kristen Atherton as Mary Shelley.

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