Presented by Theatre Works and Don’t Look Away and written by Lally Katz, this a modern interpretation of work penned by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Oddly beautiful, and uncomfortable in it’s own skin this production is laced with some potent undertones but more importantly it’s just damn good fun all round.

This is Frankenstein, but not as you would know the fabled character, nor his beastly creation, instead stripping back the work to uncover and explore notions of the outsider. It’s a blistering two hander, where in a flurry of scenes, Victor, over come with self loathing, battles with the idea of playing parent, while the rampant need for normality that his creature seeks, provides this work its centrifuge. Break out musicality, evocative lighting and a glitzy eighties vibe, completing this perfectly realised work. 

Other, less obvious choices adopted further extend upon themes of family, belonging and acceptance, it is a work that despite its surrealist vision, speaks directly of themes that through their universality will always prove contemporary. A connection to the work is easily established through The Creature, and unlikely in-road, but you feel for her, and her desire for love and affection. 

Both performances delivered by Chantelle Jamieson and Michael McStay are stoic and well refined, though they just need more time to really sink into the rhythm of the performance. Moments of strong physicality do emerge but are not delivered to their full potential, lacking a little in self assurance. Richard Whitehouse, who here is responsible for the lighting, has delivered a really beautiful component that unifies and further deepens the mood and aesthetic. Director Phil Rouse, has added a subversive and surreal undertone to the performance also.

Some technical issues dogged the performance, audio levels need to be addressed as do some of the projections used, but as the performance finds its feet and settles into the run, these should easily be ironed out.

An impressive, thought provoking work wrapped up into a tight one hour package, Frankenstein is now playing at Theatre Works until the 29th of July, for more info or to book your tickets click here 

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Jessi Lewis is a keen writer and reviewer, his focus is on experimental and fringe theatre, dance and fashion. Having previously written for both Melbourne Arts Fashion and Australia Arts Review, he has had the opportunity to interview the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, while witnessing some of the best, worst and most obscure performances Melbourne has offered up in the past two years. He also creates solo performance works that are cross disciplinary and highly visceral. He has recently returned from Malaysia performing for the 3rd year as part of Melaka Art and Performance Festival. He also performed as part of Arts Island Festival and Tobong Arts Festival (Indonesia) and Mangar Art and Performance Festival (India). His work has been deeply influenced inspired by these experiences, most notably the people and cultures unique to these places. Ultimately his work seeks to inspire thoughts and conversations by challenging the status quo.