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MOCO Theatre, an interview with: Miche Montague, Artistic Director

28/06/2018

Hatch Brenner News, Norwich and Norfolk

Hatch Brenner Solicitors in Norwich is pleased to support MOCO Theatre as they develop their latest production, based on Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein.    

Part installation, part performance, this immersive project will promote dialogue, engagement and understanding of mental health issues affecting young men. Frankenstein will be performed at The Shoe Factory Social Club, St Mary’s Works, Norwich from 16-25 August.  

In the first of a series of three interviews with key members of the MOCO Theatre team, Artistic Director Miche Montague introduces Frankenstein:

Why Frankenstein?

Following the success of A Clockwork Orange I began searching for another iconic classic text.  I also wanted a vehicle to allow us to research and get people talking about Anxiety Disorder.  Frankenstein seemed to me to be the obvious choice; the ideal text to work from.   

Has it been hard adapting a script?

There are times when I’ve wrestled over how to move from one scene to another; how closely to stick to the time-line; how true to stay to the novel.  But it has taken on a life of its own.  I’m not sure if that is down to MOCO having a very distinctive style or that I had such a clear vision in my head of how I could make the project immersive, or that it is simply down to the brilliant writing of Mary Shelley; but our first draft was relatively easy and is lifting from the page in early rehearsals in the most remarkable way.  

Where is it set?

MOCO works in site-specific venues so we try and steer clear of specific time and place.  The story is timeless.  As with Orange, it is quite a brutal world.  We are performing in an empty Shoe Factory so there is always a base, skeletal element for our designer to place installations, which enhance the journey of the piece.  

Can you talk a little about the playing style?

As always, MOCO will offer some scenes based on physical theatre and others that are more naturalistic.  The story is told through the words of Victor and the eyes of Adam so we will ultimately share the idealised images they have created in their heads.  

How relevant is Frankenstein today?

As with any classic turned into a piece of theatre, a company will manipulate the text to share any given message.  Frankenstein to me is, however, incredibly relevant for many, many reasons.  For this production, its relevancy is based around male mental health.  We are also looking at the role of gender in the theatre and have cast gender-blind.  

What do you want the audience to come away thinking about?

I would like the audience to leave having achieved a greater understanding and acceptance of mental health issues.  For them to feel moved to instigate an honest and open dialogue.  To realise how much emerging talent Norwich has to offer.  My aim is for our audience to feel they are able to immerse themselves in a world where the lines between performer and audience and performance and life are blurred.

Tickets are now available. Visit www.mocotheatre.com to book.

Frankenstein: booking now

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