Durham students adapt classic horror ‘Frankenstein’ for lockdown audiences


Two Durham University theatre companies are collaborating to create a brand-new audio animation production of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror story ‘Frankenstein’.

Durham’s oldest theatre company, Castle Theatre Company (CTC) and Green Door Theatre (St Chad’s College’s resident theatre company), have come together to create this unique production, adapted to be performed as a radio play by student Sophie Wright.

Written after a nightmare when its author was only 18, the infamous story is of Victor Frankenstein, who plunders graveyards to create a new being from the bodies of the dead – but whose botched creature causes nothing but murder and destruction.

The cast and crew of 24 students have put together the final version without the production team ever assembling in person. All rehearsals have taken place remotely, often at home.

Executive Producer and CTC President, Jenny (Evgeniya) Shpeter stated: “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.”

The hour-long production will be available to stream on YouTube from 29 January – 19 February. Tickets are priced from £4 – £4.50 and are available from the online Durham Student Theatre Box Office.

Illustration: Anna Kuptsova


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