A slightly lunatic doctor with a big heart tries to create a machine that will save humanity from all diseases, unhappiness and ugliness. Sunken in grief after the death of his young son, he doesn’t leave the laboratory for three years, working on his project. When threatened by losing funding for his research, he hurries to try the machine before all his equipment is dismantled. He uses his assistant as a lab rat, risking his career and marriage – yet things become even more complicated when his own creation turns against him.
Beauty’s Legacy is a modern adaptation of the classic story of Frankenstein. It is a science fiction comedy-drama with some scenes resembling comic book pictures, making interesting visuals, while the electronic soundtrack by Mirrors is astonishing – not only for the music itself, but the way it also perfectly introduced appropriate atmosphere into the scenes. I was stunned by it from the first second of the performance and it is so good that I traced the artists behind it right after the show.
The performers make a good attempt to get the audience involved, and while the storyline is a bit jumpy and confusing at the beginning – and I wasn’t sure where the story was going – it gets much better towards the end. Similar is true of the comic parts, as the show becomes funnier and funnier progressively, with many laugh-out-loud moments in the second half.
Not many props have been used, which is a positive decision as the audience are more focused on the story and acting. Yet some of the requisites that performers utilise seem a bit too makeshift: I understand the props need to be contained in the probably not excessive budget, but it seems like even within a tight budget they could have been slightly improved. Having said that, they have done very well with the scenery. The costumes are simple but excellently express characters’ features, and the trio have also done a great job in utilising the confined space available at the Dukebox Theatre.
The writers – Mark Finbow and Simon Anthony Rhoden from the Keeper’s Daughter theatre company – have brilliantly reflected, in a humorous way, on contemporary debates about misrepresentation and false, superficial images of beauty created by the media. They have also brought into consideration the issue of evanescence of human life and the necessity of appreciating what one has, instead of taking the ‘grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’ attitude.
Overall Beauty’s Legacy is an entertaining and funny show, leaving you with afterthoughts for the rest of the evening – certainly worth seeing.
Beauty’s Legacy is playing again from 30-31 May at The Dukebox Theatre, Brighton Fringe. For more information and tickets see The Brighton Fringe website.