Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster

It may be somewhat difficult to comprehend what can come of the words ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘beatboxing’.

Is there someone dressed like Frankenstein beatboxing? Is it just beatboxing with the word ‘Frankenstein’ thrown in? If you assumed either of those you’re be dead wrong.

In reality, what you get is an 80-minute musical spectacle from six diversely skilled and exceptionally talented performers. If beatboxing ensembles where superheroes these guys and girls would be the Avengers.

London’s very own BAC Beatbox Academy brings it’s ‘On Tour’ group to the Adelaide Fringe for Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster. Showcasing a multi-talented crew consisting of young rappers, beatboxers, and vocalists, this is a show which has to be heard to be believed.

Their approach to Mary Shelley’s original is incredibly unique, breaking down the content to three playful, entertaining, and quite socially relevant chapters. They deal with what exactly makes a monster in the modern age and how current behaviours and activities impact today’s youth. Dealing with themes of social media, body image, and mental health the show gives plenty of food for thought.

That alone is not all that Frankenstein has on offer; in addition to their narrative, they take plenty of time to interact and engage with the audience. You may find yourself part of a literal human drum machine at the hands of the group’s director, Conrad Murray (who really knows how to work a crowd). You’ll also witness plenty of tongue in cheek banter, improvisation, and short but sweet beatbox renditions of well-known songs such as Prodigy’s “Firestarter” and Ray Charles’ “Hit the Road Jack”. While the ending of the show won’t be spoiled, it is certainly a fun and heavily entertaining conclusion that guarantees no two shows will be the same.

One aspect of Frankenstein that needs to be commended is its ability to balance tone. The group can have you chuckling with glee one minute and deeply contemplative the next, a true feat in itself.

You will be scratching your head in utter bewilderment throughout as you think “how exactly are they doing that with their voices?”. You may think there is a backing track, you may think there is a DJ somewhere backstage, but there is not, they are just that damn talented.

Without a doubt, this show is a must-see for any Fringe goer in 2020.

 

5 stars


Words and photography by Isaac Freeman

Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster is playing at RCC until March 15

For more information and to book tickets, click here

Deadpool 2

Everyone’s favourite anti-hero is back, in a sequel that is most definitely bigger and better.

 

Deadpool 2 immediately opens with a too-soon Hugh Jackman joke and a shot of Deadpool in his blue Crocs, which to me was an instant reassurance that I would not be disappointed with this sequel. Although fair warning – if the first 10 minutes of Avengers: Infinity War made you cry, you might want to bring a tissue to Deadpool 2 too.

 

In the sequel, we find Wade Wilson working his way around the globe, confident in his new role as a superhero, applying justice to bad guys in any continent. But right at the peak of his success, tragedy strikes, and Deadpool finds himself back with the X-Men.  They are dispatched to save Russell Collins – a 14-year old boy with out of control explosive powers – wanted by the film’s villain, Cable. Seeing Russell as a way of redemption and creating a purpose to his life, Deadpool makes it his mission to save him from danger.

 

The introduction of new characters goes well, with Russell Collins AKA Firefist (Julian Dennisen), the loveable mutant orphan, and Domino (Zazie Beetz), a superhero with the power of “luck” (which is now officially the superpower I would choose, over invisibility or super strength ANY DAY OF THE WEEK) being stand-outs of the growing cast. Josh Brolin plays the villain, Cable, his second role as a Marvel villain this month after playing Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, and has excellent chemistry with Reynolds, when kicking each other’s asses, or verbal taunting. It was nice to see the return of Dopinder, the taxi driver, now wanting to join the superhero leagues; and Collosus and Deadpool shared some deeply beautiful moments. Blind Al and Weasel, of course, continue to deliver some of the world’s most quotable punchlines.

 

Leaving the cinema and pondering away, I really struggled to find anything wrong with this movie. Overall, I was extremely impressed. The characters are strong, the story is well-paced (more so than the original in my opinion), and none of the visual effects were cheesy. The soundtrack – again – was a perfectly suited mash of songs you wouldn’t find compiled anywhere else (think Cher; think Frozen; think dubstep). There were plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle fandom jokes, both for the Marvel and DC buffs, and the Taylor Swift die-hards too. I also appreciated the above-average inclusiveness of the characters. Negasonic Teenage Warhead has a girlfriend, the adorable Yukio; Domino has vitiligo; and the female characters were strong, capable and funny – a combination that’s still somewhat new and shiny to Marvel and Hollywood.

 

Deadpool 2 is gory, hilarious, and well worth your attention.

 


Words by Kirsty van der Veer.

The Avengers: Infinity War

Spoilers ahead!

thanos

When I walked into the cinema, I expected some of my favourite characters to die. Not just because certain actors’ contracts are expiring, but because this film has been ten years in the making. The villain, Thanos, has been working in the shadows of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since The Avengers was released in 2012. Since Iron Man in 2008, eighteen films have been released, and that makes an awful lot of heroes available to show up against the villain, and an awful lot of heroes available to die. Not only that, but the sequel to Infinity War, which continues the two-part war against Thanos, concludes Phase 3 in Marvel’s cycle of films, and a new wave of heroes like Captain Marvel will be introduced to the Avengers team roster.

The film started right off where no one wanted it – with a major character death, and that of a fan favourite. Things only got emotionally worse from there. I was literally on the edge of my seat throughout the whole film, grieving for my favourite characters and paranoid that more would fall. The plot was fairly straight forward: a threat is identified and the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, almost every hero and side character is drawn into the battle to stop Thanos from collecting the last Infinity Stones and committing intergalactic genocide. Some take the fight to Thanos, like Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Spider Man, and Star Lord, while others protect the home front from his invading forces, like Captain America, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch and Vision. Further yet, Thor is the hero who ties them all together as he bumps into the Guardians, sends some of them to Earth, and takes Groot and Rocket Raccoon to a mythical place to forge a new weapon that could defeat Thanos. And this weapon almost does, if Thor had perhaps aimed it better.

Unlike in Captain America: Civil War, the character introspection was quite subtle. Our favourite heroes were put to the test – would they kill the one they love to save them from being destroyed? Could they sacrifice one person for the sake of the universe? It’s a question that heroes often face in superhero films like this, and not all of them make the best choice. We also got an insight into the mind and motivations of Thanos and his determination to exterminate half the universe, as he is also faced with the same choice. However, we didn’t get to see the consequences of Civil War, which was the most recent film with a big Avengers roster, and which directly impacted where the Avengers were and what they were doing at the open of this film.

On the other hand, there were some great character interactions that I had been anticipating for years. The meeting between Thor and Star Lord surpassed my expectations, adding some much-needed humour into an otherwise grim film. My favourite interaction by far was shared between Rocket and Bucky Barnes, otherwise known as the Winter Soldier. They only had a brief moment on screen, but in that time they worked together to shoot the bad guys in a glorious pirouette of death, and then Rocket asked Bucky if he could borrow his arm, which was a wonderful homage to the first film where Rocket constantly tries to steal people’s artificial limbs. One that fans would have been particularly looking forwards to is between Steve and Tony, seeing how Civil War ended, but that never happened. And considering how high the stakes will be at the beginning of the next film, I doubt it ever will.

My only criticism of the film was that I wasn’t a huge fan of the musical score. It fit certain moments, but in others I felt like it was going for the dramatic in the battle scenes instead of a more severe and anxious tone.

Needless to say, I went home and finished off the tub of ice cream.

 


Words by Amelia Hughes

3.5-4 star film, conditional of your love for superhero films, and how the next Avengers film (coming out next year) concludes the storyline.