Isn't it wierd when two movies about the same subject simoultaniously get released - Deep Impace and Armageddon, The Illusionist and The Prestige, Dante's Peak and Volcano... The list goes on. Ultimately one of the films triumphs and becomes a firm part of our culture-conscience, the other usually crawls under a bridge and dies.
I understand that in Hollywood these coincidences may not be all the coincidental (DreamWorks Megamind VS Universals Despicable Me) but in theatre and in the case of Frankenstein I can be sure it almost certainly was. I know this because we're the people who made the show and although the National Theatre's version was fervently in our culture-conscience it was never our intention to "re-create" it or "re-invent it". It exists as it's own core concept and piece, and so far our piece has avoided any such association... Probably because we are mere fleas in the armpit hairs of National Theatre, but still it's good to know we've come under the scrutany of critics and avoided a "National Theatre" tag. Something we couldn't avoid when performing Office 212 all those years ago with every reviewer deeming it neccessary to mention Ricky Gervais and Steve Merchant's The Office,
'Comparisans to Ricky Gervais' The Office have to be made' THE SCOTSMAN
Do they?! Our show was a surreal, loud, potty humoured piece of physical theatre and high concept movement sequences with cartoon sperm impregnating a cartoon egg which was then acted out on stage by people dressed as giant sperm-poles... I can see the similarity.
The reason I bring all this up is because I've recently become aware of many Mary-Shelly-Esque goings on in theatre, including, of course Shared Experiences latest production Mary Shelly. She's always been quite prodominant in theatre with her featuring as a character in some adaptations of Frankenstein, also Bood Poetry. But I'm not sure Mary Shelly is trending. I think it's just co-incidental. What I do feel is "trending" is takes on classic literature and adapting them for the stage. What with new productions of Dracula, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde getting produced I personally think it's fantastic to see as I have a great love of classic literature. I just hope that when I go see them they're bold, brave, monsterous takes on the classic tale.
We love our Frankenstein and we hope the people we unveil him to will also... Even if we can't escape the shadow of Danny Boyle, Benedict Cumberbach and Johnny Lee Miller... Bastards.