Edinburgh Fringe: Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein

Manual Cinema’s Frankenstein
Underbelly Bristo Square (McEwan Hall)
Devised by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace and Julia VanArsdale Miller
31st July – 26th August (not 12th),
14:45PM (75 min)

by Bernie C Byrnes

In their extraordinary trademark style, Manual Cinema use overhead projectors, over 500 shadow puppets, actors in silhouette, and live music to bring this enthralling production to life as a piece of live cinema. In this ingenious adaptation of Frankenstein, each frame of the story is told through a different cinematic genre. Like the Creature itself, the production is a pastiche of different visual idioms scavenged from a century of cinema.

Love, loss, and creation merge in unexpected ways in this classic gothic tale. Stories of Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein, and his Monster expose how the forces of family, community, and education shape personhood—or destroy it by their absence.

This is a stunning production that weaves Mary Shelley’s own biography and how she came to write a novel of such enduring relevance. It introduces her baby, whose essence can be found throughout Shelley’s story of creation and abandonment. And it does it all beautifully, intelligently, sensitively, and with mind-boggling ingenuity.

Manual Cinema make work like no one else. I usually resent every minute of any show at the Fringe that goes over 60 minutes but with Frankenstein I could have watched it happily for hours. This really is a magical piece of storytelling.


Leave a Reply