Until Sat Jul 7 2012
© Robert Day
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Mon Jun 18 2012
The action in Shared Experience's melodramatic swing at the 'Frankenstein' author's early years is set largely in the bookshop of Mary's father, William Godwin.
Here, the debt-ridden philosopher and his awful new wife face the brunt of the Georgian generation gap as Godwin's 'political justice' for the masses is transformed into a radical vision of emotional and intellectual liberation for the individual.
Percy Bysshe Shelley charms all three of Godwin's daughters, and he and Mary embark on a courtship that leaves London society scandalised. Polly Teale directs a well-formed but risk-free production. William Chubb is a sturdy Godwin and Sadie Shimmin channels offers in a strong comic turn as his priggish wife.
But Helen Edmundson's script sidelines Mary and Percy's work and underplays the radicalism of their decisions, which leaves the young writers looking more like gap-year students on a jolly than the 'legislators of mankind' Godwin assures us they will become.