Frankenstein: How To Create a Monster is a thrilling performance that breathes new life into an old text through a talented bunch of young artists.
This is not, however, a straightforward re-telling or reinterpretation of Mary Shelly’s novel. Rather, the themes and some of the source material’s characters are used as inspiration for a series of set pieces that explore ideas of alienation, prejudice and the root causes of violence. And this is no Victorian horror story, remaining entirely contemporary throughout.
The piece is created through voices, with highly creative use of beat-box and a cappella singing. Sometimes you are left wondering how everything you are hearing is coming entirely from the voices of the ensemble. Each performer brings their own skill-set, used judiciously through the show to bring together something that is in equal parts, moving, engaging and humorous.
The musical pieces draw on original composition and cleverly re-imaged covers. The show is also slickly directed, with the engaging soundscape effectively complemented by the movement and lighting of the show.
This is a relaxed performance. We get an introduction at the start and beat-box battles after the Frankenstein section. Having connecting with local youth during their stay, there are also some locals who contribute courtesy of Carclew. There’s also so some excellent (non-threatening) crowd participation.
Frankenstein is a fresh, challenging and thoroughly entertaining performance that successfully mixes art forms into something new. Quite an achievement.
4 1/2 stars
Frankenstein is performed at the Attic, RCC until the end of Fringe, with tickets available here.
Reviewed by Matthew Trainor