Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster – Adelaide Fringe Review 2020
by Cath Leo
★★★★★ 5 Stars for beatboxing brilliance
Hailing from Battersea in South-West London, the BAC Academy brings a high intensity, flawless beatbox show to the RCC at Adelaide Uni.
The Academy has been going for 10 years and as our host and academy director Conrad Murray tells us, it has been all about bringing people together to jam, make music and create memories.
The ‘feel good’ factor is high, with the show beginning with a curtain raiser act performed by Adelaide youth who participated in a workshop with the BAC Academy team at local arts centre Carclew. The supportive audience cheered on what may have been their first live beatbox performance, followed by some interactive moments where we were prompted with some call-and-response opportunities… I tried hard not to spit on the person in front of me as I made the ‘b’ drum sound!
On to the performance – a re-imagining of the story of Frankenstein, with modern themes including one of my favourite of the songs ‘Click Click’ making social commentary about device use and social media. The powerful lyric “Trading sunshine for online anytime” resonated strongly with me given what I observe in the world. I also loved their “Canon in D” interpretation – just beautiful.
All ages were in the audience – though most were adults – but I had my 8 and 13 year old sons with me as they love beats. The 8 year old would have been the youngest in the crowd but handled the 80 minute show pretty well, while my 13 year old was transfixed by the mystery of how they were making sounds. I, too, honestly had to talk myself out of believing there was a backing track playing because it was astounding that they could be making the sounds they were without electronics or instruments! My youngest said afterwards “I don’t think anyone would think that was bad” which was a pretty perfect summing up!
If you have a child, particularly in the teenage age-range with a special interest in hip hop or beatboxing, I highly recommend this show, but I also thought it was brilliant for anyone with an interest in alternative rap/hip hop/beats – you honestly won’t feel ‘too old’ to be there. I absolutely loved it.
I will also add I totally commend their good vibe approach to connecting with an arts centre in Adelaide while here, as well as promoting their ‘relaxed performance’ philosophy, encouraging audience members to get up and move around, leave and re-enter if needed. Clearly this is part of their positive, reassuring approach when working with young people at their Academy and I’m all for it!
I hope they continue to fill The Attic at the RCC for their 4 week stint. Go see them any day except Mondays at the Fringe!
For more information and all enquiries please visit the Adelaide Fringe website here.
All photos supplied by artists.
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