Adaptations of 'liveness' in theatrical representations of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Jones, Kelly (2016) Adaptations of 'liveness' in theatrical representations of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. In: Adapting Frankenstein: the monster's eternal lives in popular culture. Manchester University Press. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Two productions of stage adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein emerged in the UK in the spring of 2011, both of which made explicit reference to their liveness in performance. The first production was based upon Nick Dear’s stage adaptation of the novel at The National Theatre in London. This was directed by celebrated film-maker, Danny Boyle, and featured acclaimed popular television and film actors, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. As part of its theatrical run, the production was commissioned, on a couple of occasions, to be transmitted as live into various cinemas across the country as part of the National Theatre Live (NT Live) initiative. The other production was televised on BBC3, a channel associated with popular, experimental, and, at times, rather subversive entertainment directed at its target audience of ‘16-34 year olds’ (BBC Trust). This was a live, site-specific performance at Kirkstall Abbey in Yorkshire, entitled Frankenstein’s Wedding: Live in Leeds (written by Chloe Moss and directed by Colin Teague and Trevor Hampton). This essay compares these two theatrical re-imaginings of Shelley’s tale both with each other and in terms of their relationship with Shelley’s novel. Moreover, it will offer a fresh perspective on how each production adapted and constructed the sense of ‘liveness’ of the theatrical event in transmission, thereby, rather aptly, playing with the ontological concerns with the controlled constructions of liveness which lie at the heart of the Frankenstein Complex itself.

Keywords:liveness, gothic, Frankenstein, livecast, Frankenstein's Wedding, National Theatre Live, adaptation
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W613 Film & Sound Recording
W Creative Arts and Design > W440 Theatre studies
Q Linguistics, Classics and related subjects > Q320 English Literature
W Creative Arts and Design > W400 Drama
Divisions:College of Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts > School of Fine & Performing Arts (Performing Arts)
ID Code:23366
Deposited On:09 Jul 2016 11:00

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