Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been re-imagined with songs, soundscapes and sonic trickery from the exceptional talent that is London’s BAC Beatbox Academy. Experience the power of the human voice breathing life into monsters all around us, and consider: who are the monsters we fear? Who created them? And how the hell did they just do that with their voices?!
The cast was made up of six vocalists aged 19-27, who each showcased exceptional and unique skills in beat-boxing, vocal gymnastics, singing, spoken word, acapella, and body percussion. At times I forgot that all of the sounds were coming only from the performers, as they created amazing soundscapes reminiscent of forests, synthesizers, and stage bands, bending the limits of what can be done with just the human body.
Body shaming, race politics, and social media addiction are just some of the themes covered into this modern interpretation of the classic sci-fi story, where our modern social and economic structures are responsible for creating monsters and then very quickly turning on them. Just like the source material, the true monster of the story is not the creation, but the creator.
The static set, stark stage, and smoke and lighting effects in the RCC’s The Attic (the former Rumours Cafe in Union House) created a dark and gritty atmosphere and allowed the performances and story to shine.
Highlights for me including the process of building the monster, which saw the performers perform acapella samples from well-known songs to represent different parts of the body – from The Prodigy’s Firestarter to Pachabels Canon in D. Another highlight was when the cast turned the spotlight on the crowd to sing a song of insecurity and mockery, making fun of audience members in a catchy song I just can’t get out of my head (Oh my god, she’s so hideous!)
The BAC Beatbox Academy is not just a group of incredibly talented and dedicated performers, it is also an enterprise with an important social mission. Since its inception in 2008, BAC’s Beatbox Academy has pro-actively engaged harder to reach groups in areas of significant deprivation in Wandsworth, including young carers and children at risk of engaging in crime. For the price of your ticket, you are not just enjoying an evening of world-class entertainment, you are supporting the incredible cause of helping people flourish through performing arts.
Beatbox Academy’s Frankenstein is joyful, dark, and mesmerising. Everyone should see this show.
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Content Warning: PG
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/BACBeatboxAcademy
Performance Reviewed: 6pm Sunday 23rd Feb, The Attic @ RCC