"T.P.Cooke well pourtrays what indeed it is a proof of his extraordinary genius so well to pourtray—an unhappy being without the pale of nature—a monster—a nondescript—a horror to himself and others… Too much cannot be said in praise of T.P.Cooke, his development of first impressions, and naturally perceptions, is given with a fidelity to nature truly admirable."- The London Morning Post on Cooke's performance.
|First Appearance||Presumption, or the fate of Frankenstein (1823)|
|Latest Appearance||Le Monstre et le magicien (1826)|
|Portrayed by|| T.P. Cooke
Thomas Potter Cooke portrayed Frankenstein's monster in the 1823 play, Presumption, or the fate of Frankenstein, which is the earliest stage adaption of Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein, or the modern Prometheus, and thus the first known portrayal of The Monster. He was calculated to have acted as The Monster on stage a total of 365 times.
Presumption, or the fate of Frankenstein EditCooke's first role as The Monster came in the Richard Brinsley Peake play, Presumption, or Frankenstein; or, The Danger of Presumption, or Presumption, or the fate of Frankenstein, first shown in London on July 23, 1823. Cooke's role was critically acclaimed by many, including Mary Shelley herself, who was present at the London presentation. The creation of The Monster happens off stage, during which the audience hears Victor Frankenstein yell 'it lives!', and then run on stage as his creation breaks out of the labratory and reveals itself to the audience. Frankenstein draws a sword and points it at The Monster, who promptly snatches it and breaks it in two. Throwing Frankenstein to the floor, runs up the staircase and exits the building through a window. The play ends when Dr. Frankenstein meets The Monster on a mountain peak, and, firing upon it with a pistol, triggers an avalanche which kills both of them.
Le Monstre et le magicienEditT.P Cooke's second role of The Monster came in the French play The Monster and the magician, written by Jean-Toussaint Merle, Antony Beraud, and Charles Nodier, an adaption of Peake's Presumption. Taking place in 16th century Italy, the play bears very little resemblance to Shelley's novel, or to Presumption for that matter. Dr. Frankenstein, or in this case, an Italian alchemist named Zametti, creates a monster, which, as in Presumption, breaks his sword and throws him to the ground. The only difference in this scene is that The Monster appears in a cloud of smoke with colored light flashing around it, giving it an almost supernatural appearance, and, after breaking the sword it disappears into thin air (with the assistance of a trap door, or 'Vampire Door', as it came to be known, after being used with great effect in another of Cooke's plays, The Vampire). The play ends with Zametti and his wife bourding a ship and going to sea in stormy weather. The Monster pulls alongside in a raft, boards the boat and kills Zametti. The Monster is then killed itself by a lightning bolt.
In Cooke's performances he generally colored himself green or blue, and apparently wore a toga. An intresting piece of his costume is his wild hair, something referenced to in the costume of Charles Stanton Ogle in his portrayal of The Monster in the silent film Frankenstein (1910).