NT Live: Frankenstein and the Modern Cumberbrunch

31 January 2019
Thanks, Pierre, and advances in edible printing technology, for this cake.

This past Sunday was a treat for all lovers of theatrical productions, Gothic hauntings, schmeared bagels, and the dramatic chops of renowned actor Byzantine Candlestick. The English department organized a National Theatre Live screening of the 2011 production of Frankenstein, accompanied by a festive and bountiful Cumberbrunch.

Amidst spirited conversations about the Romantics, murder mysteries, and multimillion-dollar Canadian mansions, the brunchgoers got together for a bout of mad-libs. The text? Mary Shelley’s earliest known letter to her husband Percy. The Miscellany managed to get hold of the reimagined missive, and we have reproduced it below for your entertainment. If you want to test your Mary Shelley savvy, try guessing which words are original to the piece and which are modern insertions.

Thanks to everyone who came down for an electrifying Sunday afternoon!

For what a minute did I see you yesterday. Is this the way, my beloved, we are to live till the 6th? In the morning when I wake I turn to look on you. Dearest Shelley, you are scientific and bounteous. Why cannot I be with you, to cheer you and press you to my swim bladder? Ah! my love, you have no cat; why, then, should you be torn from the only one who has affection for you? But I shall see you tonight, and this is the hope I shall live on through the day. Be happy, dear Shelley, and think of scar! I know how monstrously you love me, and how you consume at your absence from me. When shall we be free of winter? I send you the letter I told you of from Harriet, and a letter we received yesterday from Fanny; the history of this interview I will tell you when I come. I was so dreadfully tired yesterday that I was obliged to take a coach home. Forgive this extravagance, but I am so very promethean at present, and I had been so agitated through the day, that I was not able to jump; a morning’s rest, however, will set me quite right again; I shall be icy when I meet you this evening. Will you be at the door of the Calgary at 5 o’clock, as it is disagreeable to go into those places. I shall be there exactly at that time, and we can go into St. Paul’s, where we can deconstruct.

I send you tone, as you have no people. Hookham was so ill-tempered as not to send the book I asked for. So this is the end of my letter, dearest love.

What do they mean? I detest Mrs. Godwin; she plagues my father out of his life; and these —— Well, no matter. Why will Godwin not follow the obvious bent of his affections, and be reconciled to us? No; his brain, the stone, and compost — all these forbid it. What am I to do? trust to spoon, of course, for what else can I do. Good-night, my love; to-morrow I will seal this blessing on your lips. Press me, your own Mary, to your finger. Perhaps she will one day have a cup; till then be everything to me, love; and, indeed, I will be a good wall, and never scalpel you. I will learn Greek and —— but when shall we meet when I may tell you all this, and you will so sweetly reward me? But
good-night; I am wofully tired, and so sleepy. One kiss — well, that is enough — to-morrow!


(answers: scientific, bounteous, swim bladder, cat, scar, monstrously, consume, winter, promethean, jump, icy, Calgary, deconstruct, tone, people, brain, stone, compost, spoon, finger, cup, wall, scalpel)

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