Bath University Student Theatre would like to present two original plays showing at the Museum of Bath at Work (Julian Road, BA1 2RH) as part of the Bath Fringe Festival: ‘Dinner with Frankenstein’ (showing 4th and 6th June 2015) and ‘The Bystanders’ (5th and 7th June 2015).
This theatre group, who pride themselves on their many university awards ranging from Best Society Event, two consecutive years, to their award as the Best Society 2012, will be putting together two completely original productions as part of this year’s festival. Charles Craven, who will be directing ‘Dinner with Frankenstein’ has been a solid member of the group for 2 years, and has shown his talents in a variety of productions ranging from the pantomime ‘Jack in the Beanstalk’ to ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. Although a comfortable and talented actor, Charles is now looking to step outside of his comfort zone by writing and directing their next production.
‘Dinner with Frankenstein’ follows the story of Dr Frankenstein as he invites the esteemed Lavenza family to spend an evening of food and frivolity at his recently inherited manor. Desperate to ingratiate himself into the town’s elite high society, as well as woo his childhood sweetheart Elizabeth, everything goes according to plan until a mix up with his latest scientific experiment sees him attempt to create life itself during the main course. Events begin to spiral hilariously out of control, however when monster turns against master the farce becomes something altogether more sinister.
When interviewed as to why he decided to take this dramatic turn from performance to writing and directing Charles reported the following:
‘I have been involved in amateur dramatics for about 15 years, but always as a performer. Directing a play has been something I have wanted to try for a long time so it is extremely exciting to have this opportunity, especially with a show I’ve written myself. This is my last of many productions with the university drama society and I think it will be a fitting farewell to the wonderful time I’ve had in the company. I’ve been working on the play for about a year, and I wrote it with a view to encapsulating all the elements of theatre that I enjoy the most – a farcical comedy with slightly ridiculous characters, but combined with more serious dramatic tension. I used the well-known story of Frankenstein as a framework for integrating my own characters and storyline – which has allowed for some subverting of what the audience may expect. Much of it plays out more like an episode of Fawlty Towers than a gothic fantasy horror, but I think the mixing of genre has made it all the more interesting!’
The second production ‘The Bystanders’ written by Tasha Jokić and directed by Angel Cascarino, two newer members of the group, follows a more current theme of media and its effect on society. The synopsis for the show highlights main character Oliver, who is torn between creating quality material or moving forward in his career. This conflict is juxtaposed by imagery from a prison in the totalitarian country Beylon, where Wilson , another lead, first tastes freedom with her cellmate Frank. When their worlds collide, one question underpins everything: does being informed make a difference?*
When asked about what inspired her to write the production, writer Tasha Jokić reported the following: ‘I wrote the play whilst in the midst of studying for politics exams (how things have unfortunately not changed). Studying totalitarian states is/was my favourite interest point, and I’d spend hours searching the internet for interviews and facts about regimes that still exist today. The more I found out about the cruelty that people face, the more uncomfortable I felt about how easy modern media made it to access this information. I decided to channel my feelings of unease into a play that, at its heart, questioned whether or not knowledge actually leads to actions.’
‘Dinner with Frankenstein’ will be showing on the 4th and 6th of June 2015 at Museum of Bath at Work (BA1 2RH) starting at 7.30pm. ‘The Bystanders’ will be showing at the same venue on the 5th and 7th of June 2015, also starting at 7:30pm.
To purchase tickets to either of these fantastic original productions please access the ICIA website: https://www.icia.org.uk/student/whats-on/ or contact the box office on 01225 386777.