The Monster and Mary Shelley

An outlandish trip through the mind of one of literature’s most influential imaginations.

“It was on a dreary night in November, that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils”
- Victor Frankenstein

June 1816 – the ‘Year without a summer’: On yet another sun-less day at their holiday villa in Switzerland, Lord Byron challenges his guests Percy and Mary Shelley to ‘each write a ghost story’. Two days later Mary, 18 years old and having recently watched her premature baby die, has a ‘waking dream’ and begins to write a story that will haunt and define her for the rest of her life.

‘So this is why you created me? Not to scare your readers. Not to scare yourself. But to scare away the things that really frightened you? So that you can sleep at night?’

The Monster and Mary Shelley is an atmospheric, moving, and at times darkly comic exploration of ‘fear’. Incorporating elements of music hall, melodrama, horror and teenage rebellion with a pulsing, contemporary cinematic score, The Monster… explores the life of Mary Shelley – the Gothic Girl who electrified the world.

Directed by Peter Clerke / Peter's website
Performed by Catherine Gillard / Catherine's website
Written by Stewart Ennis / Stewart's website
Designed by Ali Maclaurin / Ali's website
Lighting by Paul Froy / Paul's website
Music by Richard Williams / Richard's website

2019 Tour Reviews:

Catherine Gillard delivers a gorgeous, subtle and vibrant 65-minute solo performance.

The Scotsman ****

To read all of Joyce McMillan's review in The Scotsman, please click here.

Stands out as a piece of storytelling, with excellent delivery with all the gruesome mirth one would hope for.

- The Reviews Hub ****

To read all of Dominic Corr's review on The Reviews Hub, please click here.

2018 Tour Reviews:

Stewart Ennis’ captivating script sparkles, weaving the contemporary with the classical… Catherine Gillard delivers a tour de force performance as Mary. Highly recommended.

The Reviews Hub ****

A vivid cut-up of psychological light and shade that gets to the dark heart of the creative urge within.

The Herald ****

Fascinating and hilarious… a wonderfully engaging show.

The Wee Review ****

Electrifying theatre… a simple yet illuminating and brilliant piece of theatre.

Skye – Theatre for All

The Occasion have recently completed a further tour of this highly acclaimed production. With support from Arts Council England the production played a series of dates in England in Autumn 2019. Prior to this there were five Scottish performances, from Inverness in the north to Dumfries in the south.

Announcement of future touring plans will follow shortly.

The Monster and Mary Shelley was originally produced in 2018 on the 200th anniversary of the original publication of Frankenstein. The Monster and Mary Shelley opened at The Tron Theatre, Glasgow on April 20th before going on to tour for three weeks, throughout Scotland.

Audience comments:

LOVED IT! Thought provoking, atmospheric, entertaining – quality work. Thank you.

Brunton, Musselburgh

Brilliantly conceived and acted. Very touching – really enjoyed it.

Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling

The acting was outstanding and the changes of pace, humour and sense of suspense were stunning.

Byre Theatre, St. Andrews

Beautifully written, masterful performance. Actress held everyone captivated. Great atmospheric lighting and sound… I don’t know The Occasion’s work but after tonight will look forward to getting to know more of it!


A real tour de force by Catherine Gillard – excellent acting. Normally dislike historic pieces draped in modern language and/ or costume but thoroughly enjoyed this.

Universal Hall, Findhorn

A well crafted play, directed and acted superbly – lots of content, great staging, lighting, sound etc.

Lyth Arts Centre

New tour dates announced

Saturday 19 October 2019 7.30pm
Eden Court
Tel: 01463 234 234

Sunday 20 October 2019 7.30pm
Haddo House
Tel: 0131 458 0200

Wednesday 23 October 2019 7.30pm
Theatre Royal Dumfries
Tel: 01387 254209

Thursday 24 October 2019 7.30pm
Paisley Arts Centre
Tel: 0300 300 1210

Friday 25 October 2019 TBC
Assembly Roxy
Tel: 0131 623 3030

Tuesday 29 October 2019 7.45pm
The Hawth
Tel: 01293 553636

Wednesday 30 October 2019 7.30pm
The Phoenix
Tel: 01420 472664

Thursday 31 October 2019 7.30pm
The Spring
Tel: 023 9247 2700

Sunday 3 November 2019 7.00pm
Dorchester Arts Centre
Tel: 01305 266926

Tuesday 5 November 2019 7.30pm
Forest Arts
New Milton
Tel: 01425 619983

Wednesday 6 November 2019 7.30pm
Ashcroft Arts Centre
Tel: 01329 223100

Saturday 9 November 2019 7.30pm
The Brewery Arts Centre
Tel: 01539 725133

For further information about The Monster & Mary Shelley and availability for touring please contact us at

To download a PDF of The Monster & Mary Shelley production information pack, please click here.

Click here to see our new promo video for the show:

Supported by

Arts Council England logo              Golsoncott Foundation                 Creative Scotland

Photographs by Neil Buchan-Grant, marc marnie, Stewart Ennis and Richard Williams.
Video by Rare Bird Media.