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Durham University

Colleges & wider student experience

Student news

Durham Students adapt classic horror ‘Frankenstein’ for lockdown audiences.

(28 January 2021)

Two Durham student theatre companies are collaborating to create a brand-new audio animation production of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror story ‘Frankenstein’. The hour-long production will be available to stream on YouTube from 29 January – 19 February.

Adapted for radio

Durham’s oldest theatre company Castle Theatre Company (CTC) and Green Door Theatre, have come together to create this unique production, adapted specifically to be performed as a radio play by recent graduate, playwright Sophie Wright.

The play will be accompanied by a series of original illustrations to create an exciting animation. Along with carefully edited sounds effects, beautifully designed animation, originally composed music and talented actors, ‘Frankenstein’ is a testament to how creativity and the arts are still thriving amongst Durham students, in spite of COVID-19.

Rising to the challenge

The cast and crew of 24 students have come together to create ‘Frankenstein’ online via ZOOM. All rehearsals have taken place remotely, as the students have been in lockdown, often at home in different parts of the country, and the final version of the play has been put together without the production team ever all being together in the same place.

Executive Producer and CTC President, Jenny (Evgeniya) Shpeter explained: “The uncertainties of Covid and the recurring lockdowns threw the prospects of producing live theatre into complete disarray. We didn’t want to plan a show, only to see our hard work being wasted in case of any future cancellations. However, we couldn’t let theatre just stop. Covid was the drive we needed to create a new form of theatre: ‘Frankenstein’. It’s a unique mix between a radio play and an animation, which I think is a fantastic escape from the every-day, and is a new way for audiences to enjoy one of the world’s most famous horror stories as they’ve never experienced it before.”

Exploring Gothic horror

As well as producing the radio play, student Imogen Usherwood interviewed Professor Simon James from the University's English Department and writer Sophie Wright, to gain their insight into the radio adaptation process and the prevalence of Shelley's story today. The interview is available to watch on Youtube.

Performances

‘Frankenstein’ will be available to stream from 29 January to 19 February 2021.

Book tickets  Tickets are priced from £4 - £4.50 and are available from the online Durham Student Theatre Box Office.

Find out more