Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster

Battersea Arts Centre and BAC Beatbox Academy


Battersea Arts Centre inspires people to take creative risks to shape the future. The organisation presents and develops contemporary performance, working closely with artists and communities. Its work travels across the UK and the world and it is committed to becoming the UK's first ‘relaxed venue’. This is a new concept that builds on the principles of ‘relaxed performances’. It’s designed to extend a warm welcome to people who might find it hard to follow conventions of theatre etiquette, including those with a sensory sensitivity or learning disability.

BAC Beatbox Academy is Battersea Arts Centre's young performance collective. Now in its tenth year, the collective nurtures rising talent and pushes the boundaries of sound and music through its work with 8–29 year-olds.

In Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster, six performers take apart Mary Shelley's original story and reimagine a world of modern monsters. The show explores the pressure to conform in our over-stimulated digital age and draws on musical inspirations from Pachelbel to The Prodigy. Co-authored by young people from BAC Beatbox Academy, who shape all aspects of presenting the work, this is a slick theatrical experience that showcases incredible beatboxing, singing and spoken word.

Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster is in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It features curtain raiser performances by pupils from Leith Academy.

In the press

"Tremendous" Susannah Clapp, The Observer

"Brilliant. An old story made electrically alive" The Stage

Production details

  • Devisor

    BAC Beatbox Academy
  • Director

    Conrad Murray and David Cumming
  • Designer

    Lighting designer: Sherry Coenen
  • Number of people on stage

  • Number of people in touring company

    12 (7 performers and 5 production team)
  • Freight


    150 kg, 0.8 CBM

  • Touring Availability

    From October 2019
  • Scale of venue

    Middle-scale (capacity 400-850)
  • Minimum performance space

    6m x 5m. Further information available on request
  • Text-based

    Dense (important for audiences to have a good understanding of English)
  • Also contains:

    Live Music, Strong Language

In Edinburgh

  • Venue

    Traverse Theatre, 10 Cambridge St, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED
  • Production dates

    6–25 AUGUST (not 12 and 19 AUGUST)
  • Production times

  • Duration

    80 MINS
  • Audience capacity




All performances of Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster (except 10pm shows) begin with a curtain raiser performance. In Edinburgh this year, the curtain raisers will be pupils from Leith Academy.

In a partnership project between Battersea Arts Centre, Edinburgh International Festival and the Traverse Theatre, pupils from Leith Academy will connect with artists from BAC Beatbox Academy and Edinburgh-based artist Josie O’Neill, learning to beatbox, improving their vocal techniques and making their own music using nothing but their mouths.

Leith Academy is currently in year one of a three-year residency with Edinburgh International Festival, which seeks to enrich the life of the pupils and staff through a variety of initiatives. BAC Beatbox Academy and the Traverse Theatre will act as artists-in-residence, offering students a unique chance to express themselves and learn and perform a new skill.

Over the course of a week-long school residency in June 2019, and an intensive Beatbox Summer School in July 2019, hundreds of students will engage with the project, with more than 60 young people performing their own beatbox music on stage at the Traverse during the run of Frankenstein.

Battersea Arts Centre would look to devise a similar programme of activity with local young people and partner organisations in all touring iterations of this show.

Additional productions

Battersea Arts Centre is currently touring:

The Paper Cinema's Macbeth, a Paper Cinema and Battersea Arts Centre Production

Not I by Samuel Beckett, a Touretteshero and Battersea Arts Centre Production

Mouth Open, Story Jump Out by Polarbear, a Battersea Arts Centre Production

Chekhov's First Play, a Dead Centre and Battersea Arts Centre Co-Production

Orpheus, a Little Bulb Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre Production

Please contact Rosie Scudder ( for information about any of these productions