Frankenstein 21 March â€“ 5 April 2014
Malthouse Theatre presents
Frankenstein 21 March – 5 April 2014 Beckett Theatre
Created by / Kate Davis & Emma Valente Directed by / Emma Valente Set & Costume Design by / Kate Davis Lighting & Sound Design by / Emma Valente Cast / Emily Milledge, Dana Miltins, Jane Montgomery Griffiths, David Paterson, Mary Helen Sassman Stage Manager / Jennifer Taylor WARNING: Some audience members may find content confronting. Frankenstein contains nudity, graphic imagery (particularly related to pregnancy), sexual content, violence, adult themes, horror themes, coarse language, loud noises, strobe effects and smoke effects. THE RABBLE is Malthouse Theatre’s 2014 Company in Residence. Malthouse Theatre’s Company in Residence Program is proudly supported by the Danielle and Daniel Besen Foundation
A note from Malthouse Theatre’s Artistic Director
On being uncomfortable. I first saw THE RABBLE in 2010, as emerging artists presenting Cageling at Carriageworks in Sydney. Carving out their place within the independent sector – through our Helium season followed by Melbourne Theatre Company’s NEON festival – their pathway has been steady, focused and clear. They now have a strong audience following, while never compromising their work or shying away from their line of enquiry. THE RABBLE have well and truly earned a place on Melbourne’s mainstage. Their work defies how we usually think about theatre: I find it almost impossible to give THE RABBLE’s productions a simple thumbs up or thumbs down, a like or a dislike. These binaries somehow seem irrelevant – superseded by their ideas and by the piercing questions being asked. THE RABBLE seem to be asking me for an opinion about an issue or problem – not about the show. The quality of the investigation is the focus.
And there is a lot to be said about what THE RABBLE explore in their work. Their productions always invoke a set of questions, often ones that we are barely ready to ask. They position themselves uncomfortably, at the threshold of what’s acceptable. Their aesthetic is unique and true: not just a way of representing the world but a way of seeing the world – one that offers us a new perspective and sheds a very different kind of light on some big topics. This is not a show for the faint hearted. But these may be some of the most fearless imaginations you’re ever likely to encounter. Oh that we might be as brave as those who challenge us... / Marion Potts, Artistic Director
A note from the Director
A violent interrogation. 1. Ethicists have determined that embryos fertilised during the IVF process cannot be used for research after 14 days. At this point the embryo develops the first signs of a nervous system – a primitive streak, a faint white stripe, formed by the movement of cells. This is the first indication of an axis or symmetry, and is the last While we are not presenting Mary stage twinning is likely. This vertical Shelley’s text tonight, we do hope stripe is the symbolic legal gesture we to honour it. Shelley experienced have developed for when an embryo great tragedy at the hands of nature. might represent personhood outside Her mother, the feminist Mary of the womb. I have been thinking of Wollstonecraft, died eleven days after this stripe while making Frankenstein... giving birth to her. And Shelley herself its definition seems arbitrary, but miscarried three of her four children. its purpose so vital. What a fragile The idea for Frankenstein occurred to her line, a faint sketch in the sand. after a dream about resurrecting one of her dead children by warming him 2. Women are told that they are born by a fire. To me it is clear that while on to be mothers. That motherhood is the one hand Mary Shelley tells us the the most natural state for a woman. morality tale of a scientist who ignores It is our power. This is a construct nature’s order, at least some part of that can cause incredible conflict. her longs for the science to effectively You must want a / You’re getting to an intervene in nature’s selection process. age where / Your life will be empty etc., I feel she (like Dr Frankenstein) really etc. / I can’t conceive / I don’t want to / struggles to define ‘natural’. In our You must prepare your body / What if it version of Frankenstein I follow her fucks up my life / You mustn’t drink, smoke, lead, not suggesting a definitive moral coffee, fish, etc., etc. / Mustn’t. Must. Must. pathway – the right thing to do – but Musn’t. Musn’t. / Your body is a temple asking difficult questions. I imagine / My body is a sludge factory / You must these questions will refract through read this / Nothing can prepare you / an audience differently each night. ‘Frankenstein’, the word, the concept, has taken on a life of its own. He is the monster, an embodiment of our fears about the interruption of nature’s course, of man playing God, of the consequences of conceiving life outside the womb. We at THE RABBLE have made a monster of our own.
Make an appointment / Keep an appointment / Buy the things / Don’t worry you’re a natural / I’m not a natural, I’m scared / I’m not scared / Don’t be scared / Don’t worry, when the time comes you’ll know what to do / You’ll just love her, when she comes you’ll see her and love her. And this is just before birth. Frankenstein may feel like a violent interrogation of these ideas, but in order to crack open the tall, old oak tree of motherhood, whose roots are as deep as the earth, I need to use a certain amount of force. Investigating / perpetuating. It’s a difficult dance. 3. The horror genre, motherhood and childbirth have long been taking Lamaze classes together. The violation of the natural order, Good / evil Human / not human Unnatural / natural Me / not me Life / death Abject in the extreme… The monstrous woman A monstrous birth And that girl who always gets killed because she had too much sex.
Thanks. This production of Frankenstein was conceived by Kate Davis and myself; it is authored by us and the cast. The language used in this piece is mainly original. Mary Shelley wrote some of the monster’s words. The monster also speaks a mash-up of romantic poems from Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, a little from Emily Dickinson and a collage poem I put together. Shit Tit was written by Jane Montgomery Griffiths inspired by Clément Marot’s Blazon of the Ugly Tit. There are also some amended quotes from Moby Dick. Dana Miltins wrote Clerval’s story at the end. Thanks so much to Victoria Le Bree for spending so much time reading and researching for me in the preparation stages of this project. She introduced me to the Philip Ball’s Unnatural: The Heretical Idea of Making People, a book, which has had quite an influence. Kate and I would also like to thank everyone at Malthouse Theatre for taking this little leap with us. / Emma Valente, THE RABBLE, Director
‘“Hateful day when I received life!” I exclaimed in agony. “Accursed creator! Why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from me in disgust?”’ — The monster to Victor Frankenstein; from Mary Shelley’s original text
Co-Creator / Set and Costume Design / Kate Davis Kate is a founder and Co-Artistic Director of THE RABBLE. For THE RABBLE, Kate has co-created and designed Room of Regret (Melbourne Festival/Theatre Works); Story of O (Melbourne Theatre Company – NEON); Orlando (Malthouse Theatre – Helium/Melbourne Festival); Special (La Mama); The Bedroom Project (Linden Centre for Contemporary Art); Cageling (45 Downstairs/Carriageworks); Salome - In Cogito Volume III (Carriageworks); Corvus (Carriageworks); and Osama the Hero (La Mama). Other theatre design credits include What’s Coming (Dancehouse); For a Better World (Company No. 3/Griffin Theatre Company); When the Pictures Came (Terrapin Puppet Theatre/Children’s Art Theatre of China); Dark, Not Too Dark (Performance Space); Superperfect (Shopfront Theatre/Nibroll, Japan); Zombie State (Melbourne Workers Theatre); Helena and the Journey of the Hello (Terrapin Puppet Theatre); and Manna (Sydney Theatre Company – Wharf2Loud). Kate also designed the recent feature documentary In Bob We Trust – Illuminations (Ghost Pictures). She has been nominated for three Green Room Awards for production design for Story of O, Cageling and Zombie State. She won in 2011 for Design Integration (Special). Performer / Emily Milledge Emily is a graduate of 16th Street Actors Studio and studied full-time music theatre at Showfit, Centrestage Performing Arts School. Previous work with THE RABBLE includes Room of Regret (Melbourne Festival/Theatre Works) and Story of O (Melbourne Theatre Company – NEON). Other theatre credits include Out of the Water (Red Stitch); Gaybies (Midsumma Festival); The Silver Donkey (Showfit/Arts Centre Melbourne); The Women in Black musical development workshop (Queensland Performing Arts Centre); and a reading of Michael Gow’s The Kid as part of the Melbourne Ring Cycle Festival. Emily’s television appearances include Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Paper Giants II: Magazine Wars, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab and The Saddle Club Series 3.
Performer / Dana Miltins Dana is an associate artist of THE RABBLE and has performed for them in Story of O (Melbourne Theatre Company – NEON); Salome - In Cogito Volume III (Carriageworks); Corvus (Carriageworks); The Bedroom Project (Linden Centre for Contemporary Art); and Cageling (45 Downstairs/ Carriageworks). In 2012 she played ‘Orlando’ in their production of Orlando (Malthouse Theatre – Helium/Melbourne Festival). Other recent credits include The Golden Dragon for the Melbourne Theatre Company and the award-winning short film Strange Tourist. Performer / Jane Montgomery Griffiths Jane has acted with many theatre companies in the UK, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Cambridge Theatre Company and Chichester Festival Theatre. For Malthouse Theatre Jane wrote and performed in Sappho...in 9 Fragments, which was shortlisted for the 2010 New South Wales and Victorian Premiers’ Literary Awards for Best New Play; and Wild Surmise. Other performance credits include King Lear (Bell Shakespeare); Elektra (Fraught Outfit); Good People (Red Stitch); and Story of O (THE RABBLE/Melbourne Theatre Company – NEON). For television, Jane’s performance credits include The Bill, Casualty, Red Dwarf, One Against the Wind and A Murder of Quality. Jane recently directed Wittenberg (Red Stitch), and as a writer her plays include Sectioned (ABC Radio National); and the libretto Razing Hypatia (Opera Nova/3 Masks). Her awards include Manchester Evening News Best Actress (Electra); R E Ross Script Development Award (An Ox Stand on My Tongue); and nominations include the Green Room Award for New Writing (Wild Surmise). Jane is Director of Monash University’s Centre for Theatre and Performance, and appears as part of Monash University’s Performance Research Unit.
Performer / David Paterson David’s theatre credits include Dance of Death (Malthouse Theatre); The Cherry Orchard, Queen Lear and Tribes (Melbourne Theatre Company); Happy New (The Store Room); Flowers in the Snow (New Theatre); and The Proposal and Hotel Sorrento (Salamanca Theatre). His television credits include Salem’s Lot, The Secret Life of Us, Dog’s Head Bay and BeastMaster. David’s feature film credits include Court of Lonely Royals and Right Here Right Now. He has starred in several short films including All Fried Up, Storage and 1, 2, 3. The Company / THE RABBLE THE RABBLE is an ongoing conversation between Artistic Directors Kate Davis and Emma Valente about aesthetic, space, gender, theatre and representation. Since 2006, THE RABBLE has created and produced ten works in both Melbourne and Sydney. These include Room of Regret (Melbourne Festival/Theatre Works); Story of O (Melbourne Theatre Company – NEON); Orlando (Malthouse Theatre/ Melbourne Festival); Special (La Mama); The Bedroom Project (Linden Centre for Contemporary Art); Cageling (45 Downstairs/ Carriageworks); Salome (Carriageworks); and Corvus (Carriageworks). THE RABBLE has received a Green Room Award nomination for Set and Costume Design for Story of O; for Outstanding Contemporary Performance for Room of Regret; for Production Design for Cageling; and for Sound Design for Orlando. THE RABBLE received the 2012 Green Room Award for Design Integration for Special. Performer / Mary Helen Sassman For THE RABBLE, Mary Helen has performed in Room of Regret (Melbourne Festival/Theatre Works); Story of O (Melbourne Theatre Company – NEON); Orlando (Malthouse Theatre – Helium/ Melbourne Festival); Special (La Mama); The Bedroom Project (Linden Centre for Contemporary Art); and Cageling (45 Downstairs/ Carriageworks). With the company she co-created and performed in Salome - In Cogito Volume III (Carriageworks). She has performed in installation and performance works by Jude Walton, Sarah Pell and Lloyd Jones. She has written songs for a cappella group Inanna and has sung in various venues and festivals for a number of years.
Stage Manager / Jennifer Taylor Jennifer most recently stage managed The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Dirty Pretty Theatre). In 2012 she joined THE RABBLE as Stage Manager for Orlando (Malthouse Theatre – Helium/ Melbourne Festival), and with the company worked on Story of O (Melbourne Theatre Company – NEON) and Room of Regret (Melbourne Festival/Theatre Works). Jennifer was Production Manager on Assassins (Watch This). She was the Graduate Stage Manager and member of the ensemble at Red Stitch Actors Theatre for 2013 and worked on Straight with them. Co-Creator / Director / Lighting & Sound Designer / Emma Valente Emma is a founder and Co-Artistic Director of THE RABBLE. Her recent directing and lighting design credits for THE RABBLE include Room of Regret (Melbourne Festival/Theatre Works), Story of O (Melbourne Theatre Company – NEON); Orlando (Malthouse Theatre – Helium/Melbourne Festival); Special (La Mama); The Bedroom Project (Linden Centre for Contemporary Art); Cageling (CarriageWorks/45 Downstairs); Salome: In Cogito Volume III (Carriageworks). Emma’s other directing credits include Olive Branches Out (Cube 37/ The Tragedy Festival); Marcel and Albertine (The Stork Hotel); The Fall (The Stork Hotel); Lucky (La Mama); Anorak of Fire (2005 Adelaide Fringe Festival); An Oration of Filth (Next Wave Festival/La Mama); The Death of Ivan Ilych (Melbourne Festival/La Mama). Emma has been nominated for Green Room Awards for Most Outstanding Contemporary Theatre, Sound Design, Design Integration, Lighting Design and Production Design and won a Green Room Award in 2012 for Design Integration for Special. Thank you: To our secondments, Assistant Stage Manager Stephanie Dimitriou; Lighting and Drafting Amelia LeverDavidson and Scenic Design Lucy Thornett. To the wonderful Amanda Carr, what a swan song! Thank you for your brilliance and your immense work. Marion Potts, Sarah Neal and all the amazing staff at Malthouse Theatre. Jo Porter, Daniel Schlusser, Victoria Le Bree, Russell Goldsmith, Guy Little, West Brunswick Tennis Club, The Coopers Malthouse Café staff, Sarah Wilmott, Helen Smith, Centre for Theatre & Performing Monash University. And thank you to our dearest family and friends who have supported us all during this process in ways beyond imaginable.
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Our Partners Government Partners
Regional Education Program
Company in Residence
Trusts and Foundations
The Danielle and Daniel Besen Foundation
Australian Communities Foundation Copyright Agency Slome-Topol Family Charitable Trust The Ian Potter Foundation The R E Ross Trust The Robert Salzer Foundation Vera Moore Foundation
Program Partners The Suitcase Series
New Australian Commissions
Indigenous Theatre Program
TOM KANTOR FUND
Directors Exchange Project
Regional Performance Project
Female Director in Residence
MAUREEN & TONY WHEELER
CRAIGMEL INVESTMENT PTY LTD
Malthouse Theatre BOARD OF DIRECTORS Michele Levine (Chair), John Daley (Deputy Chair), Frankie Airey, Ian McRae, Sarah Morgan, Thea Snow, Sigrid Thornton, Kerri Turner, Leonard Vary
Administrator Narda Shanley
Production Manager David Miller
Finance Manager Mario Agostinoni
Technical Manager Baird McKenna
Finance Administrator Liz White
Operations Manager Dexter Varley
Artistic Director Marion Potts
Marketing & Communications Manager Lisa Scicluna
Head of Lighting Stewart Birkinshaw Campbell
Executive Producer Sarah Neal
Media Manager Maria Oâ€™Dwyer
Associate Artist (Composition) David Chisholm
Digital Strategy & Marketing Coordinator Alice Gage
Associate Artist (Writing) Lally Katz Associate Artist (Direction) Matthew Lutton
Communications Coordinator Emily Fiori Graphic Designer Jane Roberts
Dramaturg Mark Pritchard
Philanthropy Manager Nicole Punte
Female Director in Residence Clare Watson
Development Assistant Hiroki Kobayashi
Company Manager Lucy Birkinshaw
Building Manager Peter Mandersloot
Indigenous Engagement Jason Tamiru
Ticketing Manager Emma Quinn
Associate Producer Josh Wright
Assistant Ticketing Manager Lauren White
Head Mechanist Andy Moore Theatre Technician Nathanael Bristow Head of Wardrobe Amanda Carr Wardrobe Assistant Chloe Greaves Workshop Supervisor David Craig Steel Fabricator Goffredo Mameli Workshop Staff Mitch Oâ€™Sullivan Front of House / Bar Managers Sean Ladhams, Cherry Rivers Box Office Staff Abbey Barnes, Paul Buckley, Mark Byrne, Kate Gregory, Suzie Hardgrave, Michelle Hines, Ian Michael,
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Jade Thomson, Liz White, Fiona Wiseman, Benjamin Woolley Front of House/ Bar Staff Leeor Adar, Matt Adair, Thomas Banks, Jacqui Brown, Ben Carollo, Nadine Dimitrievitch, Alice Dixon, Graham Downey, Tanja George, Christian Grant, Kate Gregory, Mark Hoffman, Kathryn Joy, Evona Lee, Ian Michael, Anna Nalpantidis, Daniel Newell, Ruby Nolan, Syrie Payne, Claire Richardson, Sanne Rodenstein, Dominic Simonelli, Phoebe Taylor, Jade Thomson, Lee Threadgold, Noel Turner, Matilda Woodroofe Malthouse Theatre would like to acknowledge the people of the Kulin nation on whose land this work is being presented. Malthouse Theatre would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support of its volunteers.