Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster takes the Mary Shelley story and turns it into a mix of beatboxing, rap, contemporary dance and spoken word.
Instead of starting conventionally, the show begins with Conrad Murray (the show’s co-director) coming on and giving the audience some rudimentary beatboxing lessons, after this, he brings some local students from Leith who had the Beatbox Academy (the company behind the show) had been teaching. This helped create a communal and intimate atmosphere in a massive venue, something bolstered by how every performance of this show is a relaxed performance, with people being able to move, make noise, take pictures etc.
Once we get to the main event, the way that they choose to adapt the novel is fascinating. Whilst vaguely following its chronology, they massively abstract the specific plot details and instead focus on Frankenstein’s core themes and ideas - bringing them to life in a way that’s incisive and modern. The Gothic questions of self-actualisation and self-control fit so cleanly into the fresh, young perspective offered by the performers. Beyond just parroting the ideas of the original work in a modern context, they actually have very specific and powerful things to say, both personal and political.
The performers themselves are all incredible the whole way through, making incredible soundscapes and sound effects from their own mouths. There is not a pre-recorded sound effect and yet the performance sounds like an incredible amount of pre-production had gone into it. Furthermore, all the performers were charismatic and funny - getting the audience on their feet to dance and holler on multiple occasions. Whilst they each clearly have their own favourite discipline, each performer moves demonstrates skills from contemporary dance to singing to acting with a professional level of skill.
Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster isn’t your average Fringe show, but it’s an incredible watch that will leave you buzzing and awestruck at the talent and ingenuity in front of you.