Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich NR3 4BB               Box office: 01603 626414                   Sewell Barn Trust: Registered Charity No 277724

The Sewell Barn Company

Flare Path

BLOOD AND ICE by Liz Lochhead

Director: Sabrina Poole

Contact: / 07557961332

Performance dates: 11–13 & 17–20 January 2018 (matinee 20 January)


Summer, 1816. Outrage and gossip surround their lives, but, closeted away in a villa on the shores of Lake Geneva, Mary and her husband Percy Shelley live in a blissful bubble of free-love and idealism. As a storm closes in, Mary, Percy, her half-sister Claire and the infamous Lord Byron, take part in a challenge to see who can write the most horrifying story yet.  Through flashbacks and with the richly-poetic language for which she has become famous, Lochhead reveals how the events of Mary’s life soon became a far more chilling story than even the author of one of the most celebrated Gothic novels of all time could think up.


Mary Shelley Late teens to 30’s – We see Mary’s tragic journey from naive youth to world-weary widow. Educated and feisty, she allows herself to swept up in Percy’s romantic ideals to escape the coldness of her home life but soon finds herself confronted with the harsher side of reality.

Percy Shelley  Late teens to 30 – Mary’s husband. A poet, writer, and philosopher, Percy is flamboyant and arrogant in his views. He cares nothing for the prim sensibilities of ‘polite society’, nor their disapproval of his relationship with Mary.

Lord Byron Late 20’s to 40’s – The infamous poet and womaniser, Byron has come to Italy to escape his persistent admirers.  Extremely arrogant, to amuse himself he continues his dalliance with Claire whilst bating Mary with philosophical debates.

Claire Clairmont – Mid teens to 20’s – Mary’s younger half-sister. She is precocious, spoilt, and completely infatuated by Byron, so much so she unwittingly embroils herself in scandal to be reunited with him. This one sided love leads her further and further into trouble.

Elise – Mid teens to 20’s – Mary’s maid. She bears the irregular challenges of working for the Shelleys with a cynical professionalism, until Mary denies her the choices afforded to those above her in station; calling into question the Shelleys’ grand ideals about life and love.

There is an additional role of The Creature which is voice only. It is likely this role will be doubled with Elise, however, this will be decided after the auditions.

Please note: Ages are given as guidelines. As the action of the play moves to different points of the characters’ lives, this provides some flexibility on casting age and I am happy to see interested actors who fall slightly outside the given ranges. If unsure please contact the director to discuss.  

AUDITION:  Sunday 30th July 2017 at 6.30pm at the Barn

Auditions will be working on selected segments of the text. Audition pieces will be provided on the night but are available beforehand on request from the director. Anyone auditioning for Mary will be asked to read an additional short monologue not from the text, again available on request.  There is no need to learn the pieces. If you are unable to make the audition date please contact the director.


Rehearsal schedule will be agreed with the selected cast to begin around the end of October/beginning of November. We will likely begin with three rehearsals a week, increasing as we move closer to the shows; with a break for Christmas.


ISBN 978-1-848-42061-8

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