FRANKENSTEIN

 

“The data you need are here  Can we start  I am Victoria Frankenstein  This is my story”

 

‘This exuberant production from the National Youth Theatre’s Rep company bursts with contemporary twists and takes on Shelley’s classic’
Arifa Akbar THE GUARDIAN

‘Carl Miller’s innovative reworking… is of the moment, nimble and very clever’
Susan Elkin SARDINES

‘a riveting version for the technological age… a lively, fast-paced, emotional roller-coaster – a thrilling thriller’
Gill Martin BELLE ABOUT TOWN

‘a brilliantly staged production that forces you to think’
UPSTAGED

 

CLASSIC ADAPTATION, DRAMA, FULL-LENGTH PLAY, SUITABLE FOR A LARGE CAST, SUITABLE FOR YOUTH COMPANIES | 19+ characters

Buy the published script of FRANKENSTEIN here

Want to perform or produce FRANKENSTEIN?

first performed by Guy Clark, Ella Dacres, Natalie Dunne, Jordan Ford Silver, Jamie Foulkes, Alice Franziska, Billy Hinchliff, Jadie Rose Hobson, Bede Hodgkinson, Tiwalade Ibirogba-Olulode ,Julia Kass, Sarah Lusack, Jemima Mayala, Joseph Payne, Sonny Poon Tip and Raj Singh

from the book by Mary Shelley
directed by Emily Gray
designed by Hannah Wolfe
composer and musical director Christopher Ash
lighting designer Clare O’Donoghue
sound designer Theo Holloway
movement director Dan O’Neill
fight director Claire Llewellyn for RC Annie
assistant director Mumba Dodwell
digital and virtual reality content Megaverse: Ben Carlin and John Ingle

additional credits below

CREATING FRANKENSTEIN

PROGRAMME NOTE FROM ORIGINAL PRODUCTION

The NYT had the inspired idea of creating a version of Frankenstein for the Rep company which would explore questions of Artificial Intelligence and emotion today. What would it (will it…) mean to create a machine that can feel? That has given us the opportunity in the writing and staging of this production to try and give audiences in 2019 something of the excitement and mystery those who first experienced the story would have had two hundred years ago.

The book begins as a documentary account of a polar expedition, and then takes an unexpected turn when the driven, friendless polar explorer meets a mysterious stranger on the ice. That stranger then tells the story of a life of intense scientific research, resulting in the creation of an artificial human. And then that creature tells its own story…

Having an ensemble company of sixteen, and a fearlessly imaginative creative team, we wanted to honour the ambitious and multi-layered creation that Mary Shelley wrote. Inspired by her framing the whole story as a series of letters from the pioneering polar explorer’s voyage, we have created a live version of a Virtual Reality documentary – plus the opportunity to experience a taster of that VR experience itself. One question the form of the entire show implicitly asks is about the relation of live performance to technology: will VR as a form make live actors redundant, as the new machinery of Shelley’s time destroyed the livelihoods of textile workers, and the AI revolution ushers in global redundancies? Or is there a more optimistic possibility, in which human beings find a way to live in harmony with the technology we have created?

We have rehearsed as climate crisis activists ask another version of the question: have humans become so arrogant in our creation of the anthropocene age (the era in which we are the dominant force on the planet’s environment) that we will destroy ourselves? One of the amazing things about Mary Shelley’s achievement is that Frankenstein has always seemed ferociously relevant to each new development in human ‘progress’. It is a great novel of philosophical debate, as well as a gothic thriller.

And Mary Shelley wrote it when she was nineteen! So to create this new version with a company of actors, some not much older than the writer, feels poignant and optimistic. The process of working with the NYT has allowed these brilliant young actors to feed in to the development of the piece, and for us to work with NYT alumni on the Virtual Reality elements. It is all something of an experiment, but that seems the right spirit in which to tell the story of Frankenstein.

EMILY GRAY and CARL MILLER

production manager Ian Smith
company stage manager Dougie Wilson
deputy stage manager Anna Townley
assistant stage managers Jessica Potts and Rica Struckmann
rehearsal assistant stage manager Amy Newall
sound number one Constança Lobo
head of costume Helena Bonner
costume supervisor Elia Baker
constume and wardrobe assistant Manisha Sondhi
costume assistants Ruth Cartlidge, Lauren Hall and Laura Mugford
design assistant Hannah Kelly
VR team Naila Barret, Ebi Fuller, Samantha Galbraith, Noa Goldman, Bethany Lewis, Ebba Liepe and Elliott Mills

produced by the National Youth Theatre Rep Company at Southwark Playhouse
CEO and artistic director Paul Roseby
associate director Anna Niland
producer Jessica Hall
production coordinator Lauren Buckley
head of communications Joe Duggan