Direct from a sell out national tour of the UK, Manchester theatre company Skint Productions UK arrive in New York, playing at the Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond Street for a limited engagement 19th to 24th September 2017.
'Beautiful Monster' is a daring new play by Skint's creative director Karlton Parris depicting the final hours of the life of iconic author of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley. On the very eve of her expected death, gripped by madness, Mary is visited by the dead, husband and Romantic poet Percy Shelley, their shared lover Lord Byron and arch literary rival John William Polidori, author of the first known vampire fiction, penned the same night as Frankenstein on that now infamous night of ghost stories at Villa Diodati upon the banks of Lake Geneva. As the clock ticks towards Mary's mortality, she recalls in a series of heart wrenching hallucinations the epic confrontations with Percy's formidable mother, Elizabeth Pilfold Shelley, the tender friendship of her loving step sister Claire Clairmont, and sees her younger self capturing the essence of a time when her mind and body were blemish free, and in a truly terrifying twist, she is confronted by the very monster she created.
When her only surviving child, Florence Shelley and his wife, Lady Jane Shelley depart to attend to Mary's burial arrangements, Mary is left alone with Bertha Bates, the Shelley's new vulgar house keeper, an unsuitable woman employed at Mary Shelley's insistence and Mrs Birdie Bird, the Shelley's devoted aging cook. As the inevitable end draws closer, Mary and Bertha confront the reality of insanity, the mystery of female friendship, the loss of children and loved ones, the retelling of an extraordinary life and the keeping of a heart breaking promise. Expect tension galore in this darkly brooding, surprisingly funny, erotic, no holds barred, twisted, penny dreadful.
Capturing the freedom of expression, both written and sexual, the Romantics movement of Byron, Shelley, Keates and Polidori was a cornerstone in the creation of 'Beautiful Monster'. UK actors Liam Selkirk, Edward Darling and Ben Iveson embody that spirit, tackling the erotic nature and homoerotic content with unflinching, brave performances. Working from the premise that all of the sexual content is fuelled through the fantasy and memory of Mary Shelley, it is the male cast that brilliantly portray such content.
WARNING NUDITY AND SEXUAL CONTENT
THE COMPANY OF BEAUTIFUL MONSTER
The Gene Frankel Theatre (View)
24 Bond Street
New York, NY 10012