Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster

Watch on the BBC

Battersea Art Centre’s original musical film Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster, created with BAC Beatbox Academy will receive its world premiere as part of BBC Arts’ Culture in Quarantine.

The film, commissioned and captured by The Space, celebrates the blistering success of the international smash hit live production – a gripping, one-of-a-kind theatre-beatbox hybrid – which is re-imagined for the screen this Halloween. Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster is BAC Beatbox Academy’s film debut and will be broadcast on BBC Four on Sunday 25 October at 11pm and on BBC iPlayer for 30 days.

Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster follows six talented performers who interpret Mary Shelley’s classic novel from their own perspective; as young people growing up in 21st-century Britain. Using only their own mouths to make every sound in the film, they explore how today’s society creates its own monsters. Boldly deconstructing then re-inventing Shelly’s original, the formidable young artists fuse contemporary and universal themes such as isolation, pressure to conform and demonising people based on class and race, with creative beats, soundscapes and raw rhythmic storytelling.

The film is co-created by the cast, emerging artists ABH (Alexander Belgarion Hackett), Amini-ta (Aminita Francis), Glitch (Nadine Rose Johnson), Grove (Beth Griffin), Native The Cr8ive (Nathaniel Forder-Staple) and Wiz-RD (Tyler Worthington), the production’s co-directors Con-rad Murray (High Rise eState of Mind) and David Cumming (Operation Mincemeat), and the award-winning, multi-disciplinary film-maker Geej Ower (Alone Together, The Intersex Diaries); working collaboratively together to create a fusion of thrilling live performance and intimate filmmaking.

200 years after the 18-year-old Mary Shelley wrote the text, six young artists bring their own inter-pretation of the Frankenstein story to life with a dazzling array of vocal talents including rap, beat-boxing and song; the cast create a breath-taking musical soundscape filled with memorable original tracks with the cast’s voices as the only instruments.

The unanimously 5-star-rated live show is a co-creation by the wider BAC Beatbox Academy and Battersea Arts Centre. This means it has been co-authored by the cast at every stage, who also shape all aspects of presenting the show in its different incarnations. The South West London-based collective of beatboxers, rappers and vocalists make original, a-capella, cross-genre hip-hop and spoken word, specialising in live improvisation, under the direction of musician Conrad Murray.

six young people stand in a semi-circle sining into microphones. They wear black trousers and greay hoodies
Cast in Frankenstein How to Make a Monster BAC Beatbox Academy Battersea Arts Centre Credit Lukas Galantay

About this artist

Battersea Arts Centre is a hub for everyone’s creativity. Based in an iconic building with a radical history, it supports people to take creative risks, to inspire change, locally, nationally, and globally.

Battersea Arts Centre encourages people to test and develop new ideas with members of the public – a process called Scratch. Scratch is used by artists to make theatre, by young people to develop entre-preneurial ideas and as a helpful process for anyone who wants to get creative.

BAC Beatbox Academy is Battersea Arts Centre’s home-grown young performance collective for artists aged 8-29 years. Since its inception in 2008, BAC Beatbox Academy has pro-actively en-gaged harder to reach groups in areas of significant deprivation in Wandsworth. Over the past 12 years of the Academy nurturing rising talent and pushing the boundaries of sound and music, the cast of Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster has developed; from a collective of local participants into highly-accomplished performers and music leaders.