‘Frank Enstein’ from Co3 Australia is youthful, energetic and fun

Frank Enstein | State Theatre Centre | Until Sunday 15th April | ★ ★ ★ ★  

Co3 Australia have re-staged their 2017 work Frank Enstein, redeveloping the piece for a younger cast which breathe new life into the dance theatre piece.

Last year this acclaimed production drew critical acclaim, but when lead dancer Daniel Monks was not available to reprise his role, a new Frank was sought.

Enter  16 year old William Rees, who like Monks is a dancer with a physical disability. To accommodate the casting of a younger dancer in the lead role, the other roles have also been recast with younger performers too.

While this is a re-imagining of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the story of a man who creates a monster, it also has strong ties to other dance works like Coppélia and Petrushka, where mannequins and puppets come to life.

The story follows Liz, played by 15 year old Luci Young as she encounters Frank, a young man who has created his own friends. Harnessing the power of lightening from a storm, Frank’s friends are brought to life. Frank’s sweet monsters are played by Andrew Searle, Talitha Maslin and Zachary Lopez.

It’s a youthful and energetic work, the dance movement is lively, contorted and fast. It is truly a work of dance theatre though, with a healthy does of acting and speech.

One song features heavily throughout the production, which for this reviewer made the show challenging, because it’s a song that I’d rank in my Top Ten Songs I Never Need to Hear Ever Again – but others may not feel the same about the tune.

This would be a great work to take a theatre loving friend, whose never been to a contemporary dance production along to. It’s lighthearted and filled with exuberance.

Graeme Watson, Image: William Rees as Frank with Co3 Australia dancer Andrew Searle by Stefan Gosatti