Marking the 200th anniversary of the creation of Frankenstein, Blackeyed Theatre’s brand new stage adaptation of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror masterpiece embarks on a five-month UK tour.
Geneva, 1816 – Victor Frankenstein obsesses in pursuit of nature’s secret, the elixir of life itself. But nothing can prepare him for what he creates. So begins a gripping life or death adventure taking him to the ends of the earth and beyond.
Adapted by John Ginman, who penned Blackeyed Theatre’s hugely successful 2013 production of Dracula, this world premiere fuses bold ensemble storytelling, live music, puppetry and stunning theatricality to create a fresh telling of what has become a landmark work of literature.
A unique feature of the production is the use of Bunraku-style puppetry to portray The Creature. Designed and built by Yvonne Stone (Warhorse, His Dark Materials), the full size 6’4” puppet, which needs up to 3 people to manipulate it, adds an exciting new dimension to the retelling of the classic story.
Director Eliot Giuralarocca says, “I’m really excited to be directing Frankenstein. It’s a taut, gripping thriller, an exciting gothic fairy tale for grown-ups and a morality play all rolled into one. It’s always a daunting challenge to attempt to breathe new life into a classic but with a wonderful ensemble cast and a fusion of bold storytelling, music, sound and Bunraku-style puppetry I’m hoping we can bring Mary Shelley’s gothic fairy tale kicking and screaming into life!”
John Ginman comments, “Working on this has left me full of admiration for the achievement of the nineteen-year-old novice writer, who responded to the challenge of inventing a ghost story ‘to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart’. This version seeks to provoke thought and discussion around many key issues that have renewed significance for us today including the ethics of genetic experimentation, and the causes of violent behaviour in some marginalised social groups.”
The cast includes Ben Warwick as Victor Frankenstein (seasons at The National Theatre, Theatre Royal York, Royal Theatre Northampton, Watford Palace and The Finborough), Max Gallagher as Henry Clerval (Home Fires – ITV, James & The Giant Peach – Sell A Door, PIAF – Charing Cross/Bridewell), Lara Cowin as Elizabeth Lavenza (The Obfuscati – Theatre 503, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom – Fiery Angel), Louis Labovitch (STOMP! – US tour, Leave Hitler to Me – Arts Theatre) and Ashley Sean-Cook (The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – Children’s Touring Partnership, My Pet Monster & Me – Blunderbus UK tour).
The production is supported by The National Lottery through Arts Council England.
Running time 125 minutes (including an interval)
Notes Ages 11+
Tour details and tickets from:
Twitter @Blackeyedtheatr, #FrankensteinTour
Victor Frankenstein Ben Warwick
Elizabeth Lavenza Lara Cowin
Henry Clerval Max Gallagher
The Creature Louis Labovitch
Robert Walton Ashley Sean-Cook
Writer John Ginman
Composer Ron McAllister
Director Eliot Giuralarocca
Musical Director Ellie Verkerk
Puppets & Puppetry Yvonne Stone
Set Designer Victoria Spearing
Lighting Designer Charlotte McClelland
Costume Designer Anne Thomson
Education Advisor Danielle Corbishley
Producer Adrian McDougall