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.

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.

In 2019, The Occasion 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 the Autumn and 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.

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

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.

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 Scotsmanplease 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 Hubplease 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

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

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.

- SEALL, Skye

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

- Lyth Arts Centre

‘Aftershow’ Podcast

The Occasion feature on the Aftershow podcast which was recently released by the DC10 Tonight network. Aftershow is an irregular and unedited series of talks and lectures from the off-stage world of the creative industries – and the first episode was recorded at Lyth Arts Centre in Spring 2018 and features Peter, Catherine and Stewart discussing The Monster and Mary Shelley with Lyth’s co-Artistic Directors, Tom Barnes and Charlotte Mountford and various audience members.

You can find more information and all the standard podcast download links by heading to, or you can listen to it by using the player below.

Supported by:

The Occasion Theatre - The Monster & Mary Shelley

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

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