THE Round House in Fremantle is set get a macabre makeover for a fundraiser that plays on the building’s links to the gothic novel Frankenstein.
The Round House was designed by Henry Reveley, who lived as Frankenstein author Mary Shelley’s brother for several years. This year marks the 200th anniversary of her book’s publication.
In Genrefonix’s retelling of this history, when Reveley is appointed civil engineer by Lieutenant-Governor James Stirling – en-route to founding the Swan River Colony – he brings with him not just the memory of Shelley, but also the radical thinking from which her novel arose.
Genrefonix organiser Will Axten says fact and fiction get further blurred as Reveley reanimates the body of 15-year-old John Gavin, who really was hanged outside the Round House in 1844 – the first official execution in the colony.
Mr Axten says they’ll also be using the Round House as a backdrop to recreate scenes from the iconic 1931 Hollywood movie featuring Boris Karloff. By coincidence, in the film Dr Frankenstein’s first name was altered to Henry.
The resulting footage will be projected onto the Roundhouse as part of Frankenstone, which will raise funds for the building’s volunteer guides.
But Frankenstein (or stone) wouldn’t be right without a lynch mob, and Mr Axten is calling on the port city’s gothic fans to help out as extras, or to help track down some authentic props.
“Genrefonix are looking for production assistance and contributions from the local community, including laboratory props, extras for a lynch mob, fire performers, fundraising, flyer distribution, storage and much more,” he says.
They’re also looking for material for a visual art exhibit linked to the show, which could be poetry or short stories. The fundraiser will be held on November 30 and December 1 with two shows each day, and $32.74 tickets are available from eventbrite.com.au, and anyone interested in helping out can contact the team via http://www.genrefonix.com
by STEVE GRANT