Events 2018

Granite Noir

Poisoned High Tea

3pm Sunday 25th February 2018 – His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

What could be more inviting on a chilly Sunday afternoon than a plate piled high with warm scones, pastries and dainty sandwiches, washed down with strong coffee or aromatic tea? But beware! Dr Kathryn Harkup, author of A is for Arsenic, is here to remind us that in the hands of literary Grande Dame Agatha Christie, everything on the menu could — and did — become a lethal weapon. While you dine, Dr Harkup will talk about some of Christie’s favourite poisons, describing how the Queen of Crime deployed them, and where she found her inspiration. It all adds up to one unforgettable meal!

Tickets available here

Poisoned Cocktails

8:30pm Sunday 25th February 2018 – His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen

Join us for a refreshing tipple at our not to be missed Poisoned Cocktail Party. Under the expert guidance of Dr Kathryn Harkup, author of A is for Arsenic and Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, we’ll treat you to three specially concocted cocktails, all inspired by some of Agatha Christie’s favourite poisons. Our very own Granite Noir cocktails will feature on the menu and non-alcoholic versions will be available.

Drink them if you dare!

Tickets available here


Aye Write – Making the Monster

3pm Saturday 24th March 2018 – Mitchell Library, Glasgow

Kathryn Harkup (Making the Monster) and Fiona Sampson (In Search of Mary Shelley) will be discussing Mary Shelley and her most famous creation.

It’s been 200 years since the publication of one of the most influential novels of all time, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and her creation has become part of our everyday culture, from cartoons to Hallowe’en costumes. Making the Monster explores the scientific back-ground behind the book. Is there any science fact behind the science fiction? And what about the woman behind this creation? In Search of Mary Shelley uncovers a complex, generous character – friend, intellectual, lover and mother – trying to fulfil her own passionate commitment to writing at a time when to be a woman writer was an extraordi-nary and costly anomaly.

Tickets available here


Edinburgh International Science Festival

Light Drawing Workshops

11am and 2pm Wednesday 4th April 2018 – Summerhall, Edinburgh

Scientifically creative and creatively scientific, Light Drawing is an illuminating workshop on the science of light and photography. With a bit of help from science you can sketch and doodle with a light bulb. Using long exposure photography and a little imagination we will be making brilliant, bright and bold images. Accompanying adults wishing to take part also require a ticket.

Tickets available here

Making the Monster

5:30pm Wednesday 4th April 2018 – Summerhall, Edinburgh

Explore the science behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein… Is there any science fact behind the science fiction? And how might a real-life Victor Frankenstein have gone about creating his monster? The century before its publication saw huge advances in our understanding of science, particularly electricity and physiology. Sensational science demonstrations caught the imagination of the general public, and newspapers were full of lurid tales of murderers and resurrectionists. From stories of artificial life and experimental surgery, to ‘monsters’ and electrical experiments on human cadavers, Kathryn Harkup examines the science and scientists that influenced Shelley and inspired her most famous creation.

Tickets available here


Science Museum – The Curse of Frankenstein + Q&A

6pm Saturday 28th April 2018 – IMAX Theatre, Science Museum, London

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary’s Shelley’s Frankenstein, we are delighted to be joined by Sir Christopher Frayling and Kathryn Harkup for a special film screening and Q&A session.

After a screening of Hammer Film’s gothic classic, ‘The Curse of Frankenstein’, authors and Frankenstein experts Kathryn and Sir Christopher will discuss the life and work of Shelley, the origins of her seminal story and its cultural impact.

Sir Christopher’s recently published ‘Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years’, explores the journey of a novel that went from a limited run of 500 copies to a cultural phenomenon that to date has spawned 120 movie adaptations and countless TV, stage, comic book and graphic novels.

Kathryn Harkup is a chemist, science communicator and author, whose ‘Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ explores the scientific background to the book and was recently published by Bloomsbury.

The screening and Q&A will be followed by a book signing with Kathryn and Sir Christopher. ‘Frankenstein: The First Two Hundred Years’ and ‘Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’ will be available to purchase on the night.

Tickets available here


Chipping Campden Literature Festival – Making the Monster

Tuesday 8th May 2018

Details to be confirmed.


Charleston Festival – The Creation Myth

12:30pm Sunday 20th May 2018 – Charleston

Frankenstein, the monster imagined by an adolescent Mary Shelley in her novel published two hundred years ago, continues to fascinate in an age when the consequences of scientific research and intervention appear increasingly out of control. Fiona Sampson’s biography, In Search of Mary Shelley, tracks down the precocious girl and unconventional woman behind the monster. Kathryn Harkup’s Making the Monster explores the gruesome scientific background behind Shelley’s creation and the gothic novel’s influence on cutting edge research. A chemist and author of A is for Arsenic, she knows whereof she speaks. Fiona Sampson is an award-winning poet, editor and translator.  They discuss Shelley’s monster with cultural historian Christopher Frayling, author of Frankenstein’s First Two Hundred Years.

Tickets available here


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