Forkbeard Fantasy, Frankenstein

Review in Issue 13-4 | Winter 2001

What a joy it was to see Frankenstein, the latest mixed-media opus from Forkbeard Fantasy, fill the stage and auditorium at the Lyric recently. Directed by the Bristol Old Vic's Andy Hay, this exploration of Mary Shelley's monstrous phenomenon is a visual, fantastical, intelligent, warm and ultimately satisfying theatrical feast. Continuing their trademark use of film and live performance, animation and an almost surreal appreciation of comedy, you can practically smell the work, love and enjoyment that has gone into this collaboration.

There is much exploration of ego and its effects. I particularly loved Mary Shelley getting dressed for dinner, delicately conversing with a filmed version of herself. When an opium-high Shelley and Lord Byron compete to compose the best poetry, Byron is a projection on a circular screen at the head of the table. And of course there is at the centre of the piece, David G. Scrivener (alias Chris Britton) a man with an ego the size of the Frankenstein mythology, who finally finds humility when faced with the permanent loss of friendship.

Yes, it's difficult to go steady on the adjectives when a piece of art works on so many levels. Frankenstein was a gift to such a company: all the interpretations and myths that the original story has spawned over the last two centuries culminate in a production where the desire to overrule the divine prerogative is probed and dissected. The very essence of the production, with its experienced handling of media and live animation to create an imaginative and thought-provoking piece, is a comment itself on the role of the creator.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Nov 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-4
p. 28