By Byrne Harrison
As part of their "Summer of Creation," Redd Tale Theatre Company breathes life into a pair of one-act plays inspired by Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein."
The first, Frankenstein With Mary Shelley, is an adaptation of Shelley's work by Virginia Bartholomew, who also performs the piece. This outstanding one-person play has Bartholomew at turns playing Shelley, Victor Frankenstein and his Creation, as Shelley recounts how the story came to be and brings it to life for her audience. Bartholomew is a versatile actor and seamlessly moves from character to character, bringing a remarkable depth to her performance. Her tormented Creation is particularly moving and effective.
Across the board an excellent play, Frankenstein With Mary Shelley will no doubt be brought back for future productions (and if that isn't already in the works, it should be).
Le Vasseur's Gabriel is intriguing and does a good job of bringing the Frankenstein story out of the age of electricity and reanimated corpses and into the modern era of molecular biology and space travel. The exploration of the ethical implications of creating something so different and strange is fascinating and well thought out by Le Vasseur, not to mention his exploration of the bonding that occurs between creator and creation, between a lonely man and the lost soul that he has brought to life.
With the loss of Nicu's Spoon Theatre, this will be the last full performance from Redd Tale this year (though I hold out hope that they will continue their one-off sci-fi movie festivals, radio shows, etc., until they find a new performance space), but they will be back with full productions in 2012.
Frankenstein With Mary Shelley
Adapted by Virginia Bartholomew
Directed and Edited by Will Le Vasseur
Featuring: Viriginia Bartholomew (Mary Shelley/Victor/Creation)
Written by Will Le Vasseur
Directed by Lynn Kenny
Featuring: Will Le Vasseur (Henry), Cameran Hebb (Susan), James Stewart (Pierce), Michael Komala (Gabriel's Voice) and Michael Wetherbee (Gabriel)
Set/Lighting/Website Design - Will Le Vasseur
Stage Manager - Brittany Ray
Assistant Stage Manager - Michael Komala
Poster Design - Graeme Offord
Ligting Design/Production Photos - Jason Richards