I’ve never actually heard about Frankenstein performed ‘en pointe’ until I looked up what’s on in the Royal Opera House in London. The ballet is based on the famous 1818 book written by Mary Shelby, but only came to life in 2016. It was adapted for the stage by British choreographer Liam Scarlett with music composed by American Lowell Liebermann. It's a lavish performance with the score reminding me a bit of Prokofiev, being fairly traditional in terms of harmonies and structure. The choreography is also very sumptuous, though I wasn't expecting Frankenstein to be so elegant and smooth, he's meant to be an ugly monster after all..
I was awaiting quite a gruesome performance to be honest, as all I remembered from the book was that a lot of people died in the process, but in the end it wasn't a full on, graphic bloodshed. The choreography itself conveyed all the emotions and there was no ketchup flying around. Mind you, it was the first dissection I saw on stage with a corpse being cut up mid way through the first part… Don’t worry, I faint at X-rays and it was fine to watch.
Plot in a nutshell: the main character, Victor, dabbles in the dark side of science and eventually creates this monstrous beast. It’s in fact his tormented alter ego symbolising issues with rejection, broken relationships, death, guilt and the evil that lies within each of us. That backstory takes up most of the first act and there’s a lot of characters around, but you’d be completely lost (and bored) if I wrote out a lengthy list here.
The creature has a pitiful longing for love and acceptance, but his dancing is very graceful, which wasn't what I had in mind for an ugly monster (though I'm sure he has a good side deep down inside.. ) The final dance duel between Victor and Frankenstein shows the true horror of the two souls and their unrequited love.
Talking about the Royal Opera House building itself, it’s an architectural gem. So even if you’re not into opera or ballet worth a sight-seeing visit when in London. It’s not my first time at this truly magnificent place and apart from the opulent stage, I love the glass ceiling foyer, where you can have a pre drink at the bar.
The ROH is based in Covent Garden. and was originally constructed in 1732 wiith the first ballet presented just 2 years later. And as it often happened because of lack of H&S back in the days, there were two big fires that destroyed parts of the original building. The façade, foyer and auditorium date from 1858, and everything else is really from 1990s .
I’ve tested various seats and my favourite ones (also in terms of price) are up in the amphitheatre. They cost between £26 and 32£, and you really get a good view of the whole theatre and stage. You can see everything clearly, while not paying through the roof for the seat (actually, the roof is equally worth a look:)
And Rome is next on the list! :)