Photo by Guy Little.
The Rabble create shows that, while often hard to watch, are also hard to look away from.
Desperate to have a child, Frankenstein (the fantastic Mary Helen Sassman) goes against the laws of nature to create life, despite her inability to reproduce. But what is born is not a child and rather a monster in the form of a middle-aged, multi-breasted naked woman (played superbly by Jane Montgomery Griffiths). Unable to love her creation, Frankenstein immediately abandons the monster, leading the monster to end up on a violent rampage in her desire to create a life herself. The play leaves us wondering if the monster was actually born a monster or became a monster due to her mother’s rejection (a theme also seen in We Need to Talk About Kevin).
Emma Valente and Kate Davis aren’t afraid to shy away from creating shows that are brutal and beautiful at the same time. Davis’s set is both fascinating and alienating, while Valente’s lighting and sound design is an assault to the senses.
Frankenstein questions what it is to be a mother and a woman. Women are told that their purpose in life is to be a mother and that they’ll love their children no matter what – The Rabble rips this concept apart and questions how this idea can cause incredible conflict in a woman. Yes, this production will create controversy but it also examines issues that society doesn’t want to talk about. And to me, that is why The Rabble are a company we need around.