Renowned poet and dramatist Liz Lochhead tells the story of Frankenstein‘s creation.
Summer 1816. A house party on the shores of Lake Geneva. Eighteen-year-old Mary and her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley, along with Mary’s half-sister Claire and the infamous Lord Byron, take part in a challenge to see who can write the most horrifying story. Mary’s contribution is to become one of the most celebrated Gothic novels of all time.
Using flashbacks and the rich poetic language for which she has become admired, Lochhead weaves a spider’s web of connections between Mary’s own tragic life and that of her literary monster.
Liz Lochhead’s play Blood and Ice was first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August 1982. It was later revived, in a revised version, by David McVicar at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1988, and subsequently toured by McVicar’s company, Pen Name. It was again revived, in this published version, at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, in October 2003.
As Lochhead writes in the Introduction to this revised version of the play, the myth created by Mary Shelley ‘remains potent for our nuclear age, our age of astonishment and unease at the fruits of perhaps-beyond-the-boundaries genetic experimentation’.
‘Thrilling… a play full of raging debates about freedom, responsibility, hedonism and privilege, about the emptiness of life without ideals and the cruelty of a life entirely driven by them’