Framing a new narrative around Frankenstein

Framing a new narrative around Frankenstein
Image: FRAME NARRATIVE at Old Fitz Theatre. Hero image. Photo: Sara Clarke

New Ghosts Theatre Company is not only going gothic with Frame Narrative, its latest production at the Old Fitz Theatre, it is also wracking up a few firsts.

Frame Narrative will be a world premier for playwright Emily Sheehan and also her first production with Lucy Clements, the NGTC CEO and managing director, who will also direct.

“Lucy Clements and I have been in conversation for a couple of years, and when Lucy announced her new position it felt like a really good connection to bring this play to the Old Fitz,” Emily Sheehan, playwright said.

FRAME NARRATIVE rehearsals. Photo: Emma Wright

“Lucy, through New Ghosts, is really interested in new work and new writing, and I had been trying to find the right play to do together.”

Frame Narrative is a five-hander which is billed as a meta-theatrical gothic horror story which traces the evolution of gothic literature to trashy ‘90s horror.

Frame Narrative is about a revered filmmaker who is on the festival circuit with her cinematic adaption of Frankenstein,” Sheehan said.

FRAME NARRATIVE rehearsals. Photo: Emma Wright

“A young critic arrives at her house wanting to discuss the inspiration behind the film and then the play starts to unravel as we get into what draws an author to create a work and the work experience being at the heart of that inspiration,” Sheehan said.

“I thought that we had reached this quaint place in pop culture where we are getting interested in the author of the work, whether to be a musician, a song writer and a filmmaker, and we really feel that we can’t separate a work of art from the author.”

FRAME NARRATIVE rehearsals. Photo: Emma Wright

Sheehan is a multi-award-winning playwright, having garnered the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award and the Melbourne Fringe Festival Award along with being a finalist in the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award and the Max Afford Award.

“My debut work was Hell’s Canyon which was on at the Old 505, and that led to me working with Q Theatre (Penrith) who commissioned Daisy Moon Was Born This Way, which is a coming-of-age story,”Sheehan said.

Sheehan’s most recent work Monument was programmed for a return season at St Kilda’s Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre.

FRAME NARRATIVE rehearsals. Photo: Emma Wright

Frame Narrative is being staged by a team of 23 artists, designers, technicians and production staff and features actors Madeline Li, Megan O’Connell, Jennifer Rani, Charles Upton and Emma Wright, who is also producing.

“The monster in this work isn’t a hideous monster, it is something that you made in your image that starts surpassing you,” Sheehan said.

March 8 – 30

 Old Fitz Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo

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