The five-star smash hit Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster hits the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for a three week run at the Traverse Theatre this August.
Part electrifying gig, part thrilling theatre, Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster is a powerful and poetic show that pushes the power of the human voice to its expressive, musical and rhythmic limits. Six performers with six microphones take apart Mary Shelley’s original and reimagine a world of modern monsters – from our over-stimulated digital age to the pressures to conform – while taking musical inspirations from Pachelbel to The Prodigy.
The production marks 10 years of nurturing rising talent and pushing the boundaries of sound and music with BAC Beatbox Academy – Battersea Arts Centre’s young performance collective. Members of the Academy have performed all over the country from Latitude Festival to The Royal Festival Hall and have recently appeared on Gareth Malone’s The Choir, with current members of the group ranked within the top 10 beatboxers in the UK. Frankenstein is the first professional production by BAC Beatbox Academy
Co-creation and Leith Academy
Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster is a co-created project which means it is co-authored by young people from BAC’s Beatbox Academy who also shape all aspects of presenting and touring the show. This spirit of co-creation continues in Edinburgh, with curtain raiser performances before the main show by pupils from Leith Academy.
In a partnership project between Battersea Arts Centre, the Edinburgh International Festival and the Traverse Theatre, pupils will connect with artists from BAC Beatbox Academy and an Edinburgh-based artist; learning to beatbox, improving their vocal techniques and making their own music using nothing but their mouths.
Leith Academy is currently in its first of a three-year residency with the Edinburgh International Festival, BAC Beatbox Academy and the Traverse Theatre will act as artists-in-residence during this period. Over the course of a week-long school residency in June 2019, and an intensive Beatbox Summer School in July 2019, hundreds of pupils will engage with the project, having a unique chance to express themselves and learn a new skill. More than 60 young people will perform their own beatbox music on stage at the Traverse during the run of Frankenstein.
Frankenstein was developed over two years using Scratch – a gradual process of development, sharing and feedback pioneered at Battersea Arts Centre. After initially enjoying a run in spring 2018 in one of BAC’s studio spaces, it returned in October for a celebratory performance in BAC’s newly reopened Grand Hall, and again in March for a three-week run; gaining a host of five-star reviews in all its incarnations.
A relaxed run
All performances of Frankenstein are relaxed. On tour with Battersea Arts Centre, this means audiences are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show and there are ear defenders available for those with sensory sensitivities. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. Audiences are encouraged to use their phones to film and photograph the performance.
During the Festival a number of £1 tickets will be available for selected performances. This is part of a pilot scheme by the Traverse to reach communities and people within Edinburgh and beyond who might not have visited the Traverse before.
Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster is directed by Conrad Murray (Beats & Elements) and David Cumming (Kill the Beast). It features deviser-performers Aminita (Aminita Francis), Glitch (Nadine Rose Johnson), Wiz-Rd (Tyler Worthington), Native (Nathaniel Forder-Staple), ABH (ABH Beatbox), Grove (Beth Griffin).
British Council Showcase
Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster is part of the British Council Showcase, the single biggest opportunity for UK theatre and dance companies to introduce their work to international promoters.