Adaptations of ‘liveness’ in theatrical representations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
in Adapting Frankenstein
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This chapter explores two productions of stage adaptations of Shelley’s Gothic novel that emerged in the UK in the spring of 2011, both of which made explicit reference to their liveness in performance. The first, directed by Danny Boyle and based upon Nick Dear’s stage adaptation of the novel for the National Theatre in London, was transmitted as a livecast into various cinemas across the country as part of the NTLive initiative. The other production was televised on BBC3, a channel associated with popular, experimental, and, at times, rather subversive entertainment. 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 explores how each production adapted and constructed the sense of ‘liveness’ of the theatrical event in transmission, thereby, rather aptly, playing with the ontological concerns through a controlled constructions of liveness which lies at the heart of the Frankenstein Complex itself.   

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