Frankenstein: How to build a monster 5***** - One4Review
one4review | On 14, Aug 2019
I was particularly excited to see Frankenstien: how to make a monster, having a few years ago stumbled upon snippets of it at Latitude and being totally blown away. In the intervening years the show has transformed into a slick production and it’s performers are only getting better. The show is simply staged with 6 amps and a selection of hanging exposed light bulbs, putting all of the focus on the vocal performances. There is an overwhelming amount of talent in the six young performers, each bringing their own personality and set of skills. The beatboxing battles are entertaining, but it’s when all the voices are working together that the show really leaves you speechless. Frankenstein is used as a framework to explore contemporary issues, the story is cleverly used and recognizable, but they haven’t become a slave to it. There is riffing on well known songs to describe the ingredients of a body such as ‘Firestarter’ ‘Hit the Road Jack’ ‘Show me love’ and ‘Pachelbel’s canon’. Alongside original and timely songs that you won’t forget in a hurry from the haunting ‘Genius’ to the rapid fire ‘what am I’. Soaring over the furious beatboxing are vocals reminiscent of Lauren Hill and Ming-xia. The detailed woodland soundscapes demonstrate what the artform can do far beyond the basic beatboxing foundations of b,t,ka that we’re taught at the top of the show. It was a bit of a shame to watch it in such a formal auditorium. Although we’re invited to, no one wants to be the first one on their feet even though it’s impossible to sit still.
I think the show would really benefit from a more relaxed seating/ standing arrangement as there is just as much gig here as there is theatre. I’m sure this won’t be the last time we see this show and I’ll be the first in the queue for tickets when it hits the West end.
Reviewed by Sarah
Traverse Theatre – Traverse 1
Until 25th (not 19th)