Where: The Attic at RCC
When: Regular shows to Sun 15 March
Loosely adapting Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, BAC Beatbox Academy’s Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster is an absolutely remarkable show of beatbox, rap, vocal gymnastics, and politics. After enormous success at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, they are taking over The Attic at RCC with a show that is as funny and engaging as it is raw and intense.
BAC Beatbox Academy’s director and musician Conrad Murray starts the evening by teaching the audience some beatbox sounds, before some young Adelaide musicians from Carclew who have been sitting in on BAC’s workshops performed to great support from the crowd.
The entirety of the show is performed live with only the performers’ vocal chords, leading to some ‘how on earth did they make that sound with their mouths’ moments, with the crowd often showing their astonishment. The six performers – Aminita, Glitch, Wiz-RD, Native, ABH, and Grove are a collection of the best U.K. beatboxers, rapper, and vocalists, and the soundscapes they create – a quiet forest, an electrical storm, the mechanical whirring of monsters – is absolutely mindblowing.
Frankenstein has long been adapted politically, and in drawing Shelley’s text into the twenty-first century, BAC use the symbol of the monster to explore issues of class, race, gender, beauty, social media, and bullying. The modern politics of the show is well-done, but the true wonder of this show for me (a die-hard Frankenstein lover) was how they staged and choreographed the monster. The undercurrent of empathy for the monster in Shelley’s text are beautifully realised here, as the performers work together to create the monster.
This absolutely brilliant show is rapidly becoming the must-see of Adelaide Fringe 2020.