Frankenstein playscript


Dick’s Standard Plays were published in cheap editions at a rate of one a week, supplying a demand for playscripts for performance. The books included stage directions and costume designs, and the plays are marked as free to perform. The range of titles included classic and historical works such as Othello, Venice Preserved, farces such as Sea-Bathing at Home and The Lady and the Devil, and dramas such as Mabel’s Curse.

How does this version of Frankenstein differ from Mary Shelley’s novel?

In this version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein the action is concentrated within a fairly short script, but retains several details of the novel, many of them described by the characters. The monster saves someone from drowning and is shot; De Lacey features heavily; there are references to Frankenstein’s interest in alchemy; and his ‘I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open … ’ is quoted verbatim. In contrast to the novel, Clerval is due to marry Elizabeth, and Frankenstein is due to marry Agatha. 

Two changes anticipate the film version by James Whale (1931): there is a comic character, Fritz, Frankenstein’s servant, and the monster does not speak. 

The wide use of songs, and even dancing, are typical of the late-Victorian period. The staging would also have been spectacular, for example the De Lacey’s cottage is burnt down and collapses on stage, and at the end of the play Frankenstein shoots at the monster provoking an avalanche, which kills them both.

Full title:
estimated 1883, London
Playscript / Illustration / Image
Richard Brinsley Peake
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library

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