Categories EntertainmentPosted on

Electrifying Theatre: Review of Frankenstein at Wilton’s Music Hall

Where better than Wilton’s for this atmospheric take on Mary Shelley’s famous story? Born from a developed adaptation that started as a school outreach project under the creative aegis of Watermill Theatre, adaptor Tristan Bernays has written a truly unique version of the tale of a creature rejected by his ‘father’, who then educates himself in the ways of humans only to wreak a terrible revenge on his creator.

Frankenstein. George Fletcher. Photo by Philip Tull (3)

It is, of course, a story with many layers and resonances. SEEN was particularly reminded of John Bowlby’s famous theory of attachment. There were also shades of ‘otherness’ (a particularly attractive subject for schoolchildren). George Fletcher’s powerhouse performance as the monster evoked the sense of autistic man-child, the need for love, the eventual forsaking of empathy, and the all-too-human desire for a mate. Fletcher also brought a strong sense of disgust and repression to the role of the scientist Frankenstein, who realises too late the wrongness of his creative urge, and that like all parents, he must take responsibility for his murderous offspring.

Frankenstein. George Fletcher. Photo by Philip Tull (2)

The novel has been given a poetic rhythm that starts boldly with no words at all, framing the monster’s growing awareness of himself and the world in which he has been abandoned with the presence of the Chorus played by Rowena Lennon, who with accordion, recorder and other props guides the monster to self-knowledge. Her maternal presence is less showy but just as powerful. Sometimes she’s a proxy for the scientist Frankenstein and the monster’s own ego, and perhaps for Mary Shelley herself as midwife to the doomed creature.

Frankenstein. George Fletcher. Photo by Philip Tull

The use of sound and live music was particularly effective (a skill that Watermill engenders in its actors); the spare stage was lit not just with conventional lights but also two electric lightbulbs that variously stood in for fire and other props. We all knew how the story ended; the question was, exactly how can that be when there are only two actors on stage? The answer was artful, powerful and entirely satisfying. SEEN recommends.

Credits

Photography Felipe Tull

Seen this week

Categories ArtPosted on

Super Sharp: The First Instalment of ‘RTRN II JUNGLE’

Regular readers of SEEN will know what fans we are of the Fashion Space Gallery at the London College of Fashion in John Prince’s Street. It’s a place where it is possible to gauge current cultural attitudes as they happen. ‘Super Sharp’ is the first in a series of exhibitions and events exploring the style, sound and Rave Culture in the nineties. It starts on Thursday 1st February and runs until Saturday 21st April 2018.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Burns Night: Whisky 101 at The Gallery 

Celebrating Burns Night without whisky is nothing short of sacrilege. Where better then to honour Scotland’s greatest poet than at The Gallery in West Hampstead, which has become renowned for its dual fascinations – whisky and beer. Here’s a Short Epigram on Parting with a Kind Host in the Highlands penned by Burns himself: When death’s …

Categories MusicPosted on

David Ramirez Releases ‘We’re Not Going Anywhere’ and Plays St Pancras Old Church

David Ramirez has announced details of his new album We’re Not Going Anywhere, set for UK commercial release via Thirty Tigers on January 12th, 2018. Produced by Sam Kassirer, the album finds Ramirez painting a vividly imagined picture of contemporary America through the songwriter’s own perspective of having dual American and Mexican heritage. It follows …