dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein review at Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘stylish, slickly executed’

Manual Cinema's Frankenstein. Photo: Michael Brosilow

Like all Manual Cinema’s work, this version of Frankenstein is a super-skilled endeavour. Using a mixture of silhouette work, live performance, music and song, part of the pleasure of watching the large company always lies in simply witnessing their deftness at creating the work on stage.

This rewrite of Frankenstein frames the famous tale of a reanimated body as a direct result of Mary Shelley’s daughter Clara dying as an infant. At the start, we see a yawning Shelley attempting to fit writing into her evenings after settling the newborn while Percy Bysshe, free from the boredom of childcare, merrily scribbles away in the next room.

With a preference for sweetly ethereal melodies and long eyelashed women, Manual Cinema’s output can occasionally feel a bit saccharine (Lula del Ray certainly fell into this trap), but Frankenstein is thankfully darker and much wittier.

There’s a lot of joy to be found in the details – frightful obstetric equipment and quirky Victoriana like Millais’ painting of John Ruskin hanging on the wall. The silent movie motif is also inspired. All in, it’s an act of creation and animation the eponymous doctor would have been proud of.

Chicago’s Manual Cinema: ‘Edinburgh Fringe feels like an important cultural exchange’

 

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
Verdict
Stylish, slickly executed version of Mary Shelley’s gothic classic
^