Theatre Mill have long fascinated us, returning with their latest site-specific production, the gothic science-fiction drama Frankenstein Revelations. Last autumn, Theatre Mill turned the York Guildhall into a trawler men’s pub cum whaling ship for Moby Dick, while past productions have included the York Mansion House for The Importance of Being Earnest; Leeds Civic Council Chamber and York Guildhall Council Chamber for Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution and many more.
Once more the producer, Rebecca Stafford, has found a previously unchartered space to stage a theatrical production, this time in the atmospheric surroundings of the Victorian York medical Society from February 2 to 25. Rebecca says:
“It is the same situation that has applied to all of our shows. This is the first time that the Medical Society have allowed a theatre company into their rooms, and this production has been in the pipeline for well over a year, maybe 18 months. We’re very excited about the location and because it is a new commission of the Frankenstein story, the Medical society were excited to find out what it would involve. I’ve always wanted Theatre Mill to do Frankenstein because it is full of tension and atmosphere, and this is the perfect place for it; a hidden gem that no-one knows about” !
Rebecca Stafford, has found a previously unchartered space to stage a theatrical production, this time in the atmospheric surroundings of the Victorian York medical Society
In this inspirational production master playwright Nick Lane’s psychological thriller has all of the tension, suspicion and atmosphere of the best mysteries. It is sure to leave audiences on the edge of their seats. Nick, formerly of Hull Truck Theatre, is well known to York Theatre Royal audiences and is the purveyor of what is arguably Yorkshire’s best children’s show of 2016: Pinocchio at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, last month. He says of the gothic thriller:
“Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1818 and set it at the end of the 1790s, but I’ve decided to move it to 1866 as I wanted to use a war setting to trap the characters in Inglostadt, historically the only war was the Austro-Prussian War that lasted only four months in 1866.”
In this version of Shelley’s psychological thriller, the city is torn apart by Prussian cannon fire. A lone figure staggers through the ruins of the once proud University. Screaming at the top of his lungs, he collapses at the feet of an ambitious physician, Dr Gerber (Zach Lee) and a skittish nurse, Agatha (Viktoria Kay). His name is Victor Frankenstein, and while the world outside burns, Dr Frankenstein tells his two new companions the most incredible story they have ever heard. Did he truly defy God and create life? Or is he hiding an even more deadly secret?
Richard Keightley will play Frankenstein, tripping on hallucinogenic stimulants and painkillers, and spinning around him, Lee and Kay will play everyone else. Nick continues;“Before the Victorians got hold of Frankenstein and turned it into gothic horror, it was a tragedy, a story of man versus God, that’s actually very sad. I don’t want to give too much away but I found a way for three people to tell this really compelling story, whilst still reflecting the structure of the book.”
And so the stage is set. The Doctor begins. And the only thing more chilling than his story is what might come after it.
Tickets for FRANKENSTEIN REVELATIONS are available from York Theatre Royal
01904 623 568 / www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk