Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster

A fresh new take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as the themes of each chapter are deconstructed through spoken word, music and dance.


Presented by RCC and the BAC Beatbox Academy
Reviewed 15 February 2020


That’s all that needs to be said. The rest is just exposition.

Six young performers aged 16-27, including a UK beatbox champion, deconstruct Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Chapter-by-chapter these incredible young artists explore the themes of the story in a modern-day context: What is beauty and who gets to decide? Does evil create evil? What are the effects of social media warriors who hide behind anonymity?

It’s not all doom and gloom. This is an uplifting, fun and incredibly diverse show incorporating dance, movement, spoken word, beatboxing, rap, hip hop, ballads and a full orchestration of backing music and sound effects created from the equally diverse voices of this troupe. The entire show is a Capella but you’d swear it wasn’t.

The energy levels are high and the sparse overhead and backlighting gives it a contradictory gothic mood.

Director Conrad Murray, who founded the Academy 11 years ago, introduces the show with an audience beatboxing warm-up. On opening night, he also introduced six young locals who had participated in a beatboxing workshop at Carclew in North Adelaide. For some of these locals, it was their first time on stage yet they were all magnificently entertaining as the pre-show warm up.

Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster is an Australian premiere and a must for lovers of Shelley’s novel, lovers of live music, and seekers of high-quality theatre that will get your mind thinking and your feet dancing.

It’s different. It’s unusual. And its oh, so awesome.


Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Venue:  Basem3nt Studios, 15-17 Featherstone Place, Adelaide
Season:  15 February – 15 March 2020
Duration:  80 minutes
Tickets:  $25-$35

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