The director chatted to Emma Clarendon about working with the Rose Youth Theatre Alumni on a new version of Frankenstein in The Creature: Frankenstein Retold.

(c)Andy Coxon.

Hi Lucy, what can audiences expect from this retelling of Mary Shelley’s story? The Creature is a contemporary retelling of Shelley’s novel set in a world of quantum sciences and supercomputers. I would describe it as an unflinching gothic horror for the 21st century. Audiences can expect suspense, strong characters and wonderful performances from nine emerging artists.

Why did you want to bring this story to life? I have always had a fascination with Shelley’s novel and was captivated by Ciaran McConville’ s
version. I love that the play puts complex and conflicted young characters at the heart of the story. I was drawn to the challenging nature of the play for both the actors and the audience and the breadth of ideas. There is a strong focus on ensemble which works perfectly for our Youth Theatre
Alumni.

How has it been working with the Rose Youth Theatre on the production? The cast of Rose Youth Theatre Alumni are truly a joy to work with. They bring so much energy and passion to their story telling. They are impulsive in a raw way that allows them to experiment with
their character choices and live in the moment. They bring so many creative ideas which has made the rehearsal room such a vibrant and dynamic working environment.

How do you think we could be supporting more young people wanting to get into theatre? I think it is important to demonstrate to young people the breadth of careers that are available in the performing arts industry. At the Rose we are developing a Careers Hub run for and organised by
young people. The aim is to encourage young people to network and meet a wide range of industry professionals. I think that it is so important to encourage and support young people in the industry who face financial or other access barriers. There are so many wonderful things happening in this area across theatres in London as well as regional theatres. I think, as an industry, we can always do more. Theatre should be an inclusive industry that serves the whole community who want to be a
part of it and should continue to evolve.

If people are thinking about coming along to see the show – why should they? They should come and see these exciting emerging artists in their fresh retelling of Frankenstein. The story is driven by a complex and strong female protagonist who battles with love, loss and furious ambition. The narrative is fast paced with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

By Emma Clarendon

The Creature: Frankenstein Retold will play at the Rose Theatre from the 27th to the 29th February.

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