Underground Lights explore Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

Posted on 10 October 2019

After launching our Frankenfic horror writing competition to coincide with Mary Shelley’s birthday, we were delighted to receive four submissions from Underground Lights Community Theatre participants.

One of our new Springboard companies for 2019, Underground Lights works with adults with experience of homelessness and mental ill health. In addition to running a theatre group which rehearses and performs at the Belgrade Theatre, the company also runs a weekly Creative Café at Shop Front Theatre, where people are invited to come in and share their own work and ideas. Recent sessions at the Creative Café have included an exploration of Frankenstein and its themes, making the writing competition the perfect opportunity for participants to get creative with the ideas they’d been exploring.

Two of the submissions – a poem titled Does the Monster Really Live? and Frankenstein’s Legacy – an interesting tale about a pet that Frankenstein’s monster creates for himself – were read out at our horror storytelling event at the Big Comfy Bookshop in Fargo Village. On Wednesday, Frankenstein cast member Sarah MacGillivray also dropped into the Creative Café to discuss her work as an actor and her various roles in the show.

To celebrate Underground Lights’ fantastic work in the field, on World Mental Health Day, here’s a look at two submissions that were read out. Look out for more on our website soon!

Does the Monster Really Live?

By Becky

Does the monster really live
Or do our eyes convey much more
The monstrosity he sees himself?
It’s what he thinks, for sure.

What if all his feelings rage
And all this pain seeps out the pores?
In front of the mirror he sits and weeps
It all comes out in boils and roars.

He never knew what beauty was,
With big blue eyes that shone.
His dad so cold and showed no love,
All self-worth was gone.

Oblivious creator of this beautiful masterpiece
Abandoned without a thought.
Never gave him chance to feel,
Only hatred he had taught.

Such a different story though,
If he’d created him with love.
Now at peace this creation lives
With the angels up above.

Frankenstein’s Legacy

by Andrea

What Victor didn’t know was that his creation was gifted with his own (perfect) skill to replicate himself.

While stumbling and wandering through the woods, stuffing leaves and berries internally and crying out in pain and fear, the monster became extreme life.
In the intensity of emotion, before he realised what he was doing, and quite unconsciously, with a natural aptitude given by his own father, he began to collect.
Soon, there formed a pile under a large oak. The head of a rabbit, the body of a wolf, foxes’ legs, raven feathers, a badger brain.

Instead of feeling agitated and afraid, Victor’s son began to piece the parts together. A hideous sight stood before him, and then, during the night, the creature reached for a spark of lightning from the thunderstorm and placed it inside the head of its creation.

After a moment of silence, the woodland creature shook violently and opened its eyes. Then it let out a loud howl.

Frankenstein’s child was overwhelmed with joy. His own child! His own new friend!

The creature stood on its four fox feet, licked its wolf fur, pulled on its long rabbit ears and pulled out feathers from its cheeks that were really in the way.
It came over to the monster and licked him, making small, high pitched grunts. The monster picked up his creature, and as he sat on the forest floor, cross-legged, he held him in his lap carefully and stroked him.

The world became a different place to the monster. He was always busy and the two explored together, ate together and lay in the sun when they found a clearing.

The two lived this way timelessly, until they reached the end of the tree-line and found themselves on open grass, where there were humans.

By an unfortunate twist of fate, it was that very day that Victor Frankenstein had decided to walk into the town instead of taking a carriage, and as the universe would have it, the monster and his maker stood face-to-face in a bright meadow, spotted with daisies and dandelions.

Victor, after the initial shock, sprang forward to chase his monstrous creation, and capture it. He didn’t get far before a creature with a sweet bunny face and a large heavy body flew out of the trees and landed on him.

The last thing he saw was a red fox’s paw clawing at his face and talons entering his eyeballs.