REVIEW: This period costume adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic Frankenstein feels miraculously fresh, with a stun… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
The Prickle (@ThePrickle) October 10, 2020
Do not let the title or the futuristic publicity mislead you: this is an extremely faithful, period costume adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic 1818 novel; all the more miraculous then then that it should feel so fresh, even prescient. Just like the novel, all of the action is framed in flashback from a desolate, icy land, here portrayed in a stunning set design (Jan Wong) of a gigantic white tunnel, reminiscent both of an ice cave and a bleached laboratory.
The actors are not credited, and there is no curtain call, but the performances from everyone across the diverse cast are what sell this remarkable adaptation. The creature stands out, lurching from grotesque, infant-like lurches, to adolescent howling; the choreography (Ata Wong) deserves a special mention.
The set also functions as a blank screen for massive, hallucinogenic video projections (Lo Wing) and bold lighting (Bert Wong), which whip us across time, space, and sanity. Allowing for one or two cliché moments, the musical score and sound design (Labroe Lee) are central to the production’s atmospheric power.
For Hong Kong, it’s an unusual decision to have no subtitles for non-Cantonese speakers, or even any English-language synopsis, especially for such a blockbuster adaptation of an English classic, with universal appeal (especially at Halloween). But more power to the production for prioritising the purity of the theatrical experience.
Cantonese language only, 10 – 25 October 2020.