MISUNDERSTOOD or monster? Coolbellup playwright Teresa Izzard says there’s a deeper story behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein than usually portrayed in dated Hollywood horror movies.
“Everyone knows the story, but do they know the one Mary Shelley wrote?” she ponders.
As director of emerging theatre company Feet First Collective she’s presenting Frankenstein, Some Assembly Required at the Moore’s gallery as part of the Fremantle Festival.
It will be a slice of immersive theatre with the small audience of just 25 becoming part of the cast as they are taken on a journey through the atmospheric, heritage warehouse in Fremantle’s West End.
“We want to create an experience of the uncanny for the audience, using shadows, movement and evocative text,” Izzard says.
“[It’s] a bums on feet experience offering audience members the opportunity to bond over complimentary nibbles and a pre-show drink before becoming part of a story dealing with life and death, sacrifice and survival, gods and monsters.”
The underlying message of Shelley’s “monster” is one of rejection by society because of the way it looks.
That could become a comment on the treatment of people with a disability or refugees, Izzard says: “People can take from it what they feel.”
Frankenstein was written in 1817, a time when women were portrayed in gothic literature as frail creatures to be cosseted.
“We are asking where Mary Shelley’s voice is in the book,” says Izzard.
“We are exploring what the heroine would say if she had a choice.”
Frankenstein, Some Assembly Required is on October 27 to November 6. Tickets $25 at http://www.fremantlefestival.oztix.com.au. Be warned you will be asked to stand, walk and climb stairs during the 80 minute performance, so wear comfy clothes.
by JENNY D’ANGER