On Sunday, October 21st at 14:00 SLT, Fantasy Faire Radio and Seanchai Library will present Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, specially adapted for radio and live performance in six voices, in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the novel’s original publication. The two-hour performance will take place live at this year’s iteration of “Haunted Holly Kai” high above the Blake Sea based Art Park, and will benefit Relay for Life.
In 1814 and at the age of 17, Mary Godwin, daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin, began a relationship with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. It was to become the subject of much gossip and scandal, Shelley already being married and Mary bearing him a daughter. However, their love endured, and in 1816, they were able to spend summer with Lord Byron near Geneva, Switzerland (with Mary already calling herself “Mrs. Shelley”, although she and Shelley were not married until later in the year following the death of Shelley’s first wife).
Thanks to the inclement weather, Mary, Shelley and Lord Byron entertained their little party by reading German ghost stories. This resulted into the three agreeing a challenge to each write a “ghost story”, but Mary found herself unable to determine a suitable theme until, on a later evening, the discussions turned to the nature of the principle of life, and she found herself wondering about the potential to re-animate a corpse. Her imagination sparked, over the coming days she wrote the first draft of a story that would grow into one of the most famous horror novels of all time: Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus, eventually published in 1818.
The novel received a positive reception when it first appeared – although it was also somewhat disregarded as a literally piece, being initially published anonymously (it was not until 1823 that Mary’s name was added to it). The initial reviews praised the novel as “very bold fiction”, while the then unknown author was praised for having, “the power of both conception and language”. It was only after Mary Shelley became the acknowledged author that the reviews became largely more negative – and in doing so, focused on the fact the author was a woman.
However, the novel proved itself more than durable, surviving the negativity, becoming an early subject for stage adaptation. The first of these, Presumption; or, the Fate of Frankenstein, opened in 1823. The novel then became a subject for film from 1910 onwards.
The most famous of these cinematic adaptations is perhaps the 1931 James Whale film, Frankenstein: The Man Who Made The Monster. Itself adapted from a stage play by Peggy Webling and loosely written around Shelley’s novel, the film starred Boris Karloff, in a role that transformed Shelley Creature into the Monster with bolts in its neck we all tend to visualise when thinking about the tale.
For the 200th anniversary of the novel’s publication, Seanchai Library and Fantasy Faire Radio will present a 2-hour adaptation of the original story, adapted by Caledonia Skytower and Da5id Abbot, who will be joined by the voice talents of Corwyn Allen, Zander Greene, Shandon Loring and Elrik Merlin.. The performance will take place in an outdoor amphitheatre and castle setting that features a mad scientist lab created by Stranger Nightfire.
Both the amphitheatre and castle will remain open to the public through until after Halloween, and will feature additional events will be staged to celebrate both the novel and its film adaptations.
To reach the event area, click the Frankenstein poster located on the wall at the Holly Kai Park Information Centre.
About Seanchai Library
Seanchai Library (Shawn-a-kee, which means “Storyteller” in Irish.) was founded in March of 2008 in Second Life. The program remains dedicated to promoting the power of stories to transform and inspire through live voice presentations: “We bring stories of all kinds to life, in Second Life and other virtual worlds.” http://irelandslstory.blogspot.com/.
About Fantasy Faire Radio
Since 2014, Fantasy Faire Radio has been a special event station, sponsored by Radio Riel in its role as Media Partner in Fantasy Faire, the annual celebration of fantasy art, writing, design and creativity that raises money every year in the virtual world of Second Life for the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, supporting cancer research, caregivers and cancer sufferers all over the world. In 2017, FFR began broadcasting 24/7, as a full‐time Internet radio service. Listeners can tune in by opening https://radioriel.org in their internet browser and choosing Fantasy Faire Radio in the left hand sidebar, by opening http://fantasy.radioriel.org in a network audio player.
- Holly Kai Park Information Centre (Holly Kai Estates, rated: Moderate) – please use the TP poster in the centre