Ben Haggarty & Sianed Jones
Enter a world of feverish dreaming, as storyteller Ben Haggarty and musician Sianed Jones present an intense steam punk interpretation of Mary Shelley's modern myth. Two master performers explore the nature of the consciousness of a man made by man and the responsibility of the creator towards the created. Truly a story for our time, Frankenstein speaks of power unleashed and our fear of the unknown.
Internationally renowned for his playful and dynamic performances, Ben Haggarty tells his stories with infectious charm and deceptive ease. Composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, Sianed Jones, has been variously described as having a voice like that of a 'wailing Welsh banshee', a 'soft seducer', and a 'passionate revolutionary'.
Romantic interest in the scientific discoveries of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century produced, Frankenstein, the first myth of the modern age. Mary Shelley herself says that the story came to her in a waking dream following days of confinement in a villa on the edge of lake Geneva during the summer of 1816 (which was plagued with bad weather caused by volcanic ash from a major eruption in Indonesia); conversations about the experiments of natural philosopher and poet Erasmus Darwin (who was said to have animated dead matter), and an evening of telling ghost stories.
Drawing on the original story, Hollywood’s cinematic retellings, Greek and Jewish legends, and pop culture, this powerful and startling contemporary performance combines spoken narrative, vocals, bass and electric violin, to lure audiences into the imagined world of Dr Frankenstein and the monster he created.
Frankenstein was originally commissioned by The Guardian Hay Festival
Fees are in the region of £600 plus expenses. Please contact us to discuss full details of costs.
Frankenstein is touring in Autumn 2010 and available for booking for Spring 2011.
Frankenstein’s previous outings include: London’s Barbican Centre; Norwich Arts Centre; The Electric Theatre, Guildford; Northern Stage, Newcastle; Aberystwyth Arts Centre; Cheltenham Everyman Theatre, and The Tristan Bates Theatre, London.
|1st October 2010:
||Beverley Literature Festival
|14th October 2010:
||Barbican Centre, London
|16th October 2010:
||Ilkley Literature Festival
|21st October 2010:
|22nd October 2010:
||Royal & Derngate, Northampton
|30th October 2010:
||Lit.com Festival Grimsby
|6th November 2010:
||Helmsley Arts Centre
|11th November 2010:
||The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster
|19th & 20th November 2010:
||Ottawa Storytelling Festival, Canada
Press (for Frankenstein)
‘This is real storytelling’ The Guardian Hay Festival
‘A powerful and atmospheric experience’ Durham Literature Festival
Press (for Ben Haggarty)
‘... and what a story this one was – it unravelled itself mischievously
in Haggarty’s quietly skilful telling.’
The New Statesman
‘Haggarty tells his stories with enormous relish and gusto.’
‘Haggarty’s telling is an adroit mixture of the imposingly epic and the reassuringly rhythmic,
tempered by a twinkle that admits to the story’s heightened nature, without mocking it’
‘He knows how to harness the audience’s imagination offering up the story’s epic twists and turns
in a way that animates them without over selling them’
Press (for Sianed Jones)
‘The Music was exquisite – the voice of Sianed Jones hovering ominously over tonal percussion’
The Daily Oxford, for Richard II with the RSC
‘Sianed’s work consistently pushes at boundaries, in ideas, in technique and in her own performance practise’
The Welsh Arts Council
‘the strength of Jones’s performances are unique. Sianed Jones brought all her
hard-edged passion and skill to bear.’
Biography for Ben Haggarty
Having been trained in mime and theatre direction in the 1970s, and apprenticed as an image-maker with Welfare State, Ben Haggarty began telling stories professionally in 1981 - becoming a central figure in the re-visioning of storytelling as a contemporary performing art in the UK.
Today, Ben is a world-class performance storyteller, internationally respected for his playful, lively and challenging performances, for his knowledge of stories and diverse narrative traditions. He is one of the world’s shrewdest directors of storytellers and a much sought after teacher. His performances, including ‘Gilgamesh’, ‘Frankenstein’, ‘The Fly’, ‘Beauty and the Beast’, his programmes of fairytales for grownups, and most recently ‘Mr Sandmann’, have earned him acclaim across the English-speaking world.
Ben is honorary professor of storytelling at the Arts University of Berlin (UDK) and is the official storyteller with Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. His graphic novel, Mezolith, with extraordinary art by Adam Brockbank, is published by Random House.
Biography for Sianed Jones
Sianed Jones is a composer / performer / improviser / teacher specialising in Extended Vocal Techniques, working in cross art form projects collaborating cross culturally with choreographers. writers, film makers and performance artists in site specific performances. She holds a B.A (Hon) Degree in Music from Dartington College of Arts 1980 and an M.Mus. Degree in Electro-acoustic Composition, University of East Anglia 1997. Her vocal research into has taken her to Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, (1987) Mongolia (1994) Kazakhstan, and Kyrgistan (1999).She is currently a composer, singer, musician with the RSC’s Royal Shakespeare’s History Company.
Frankenstein has been successfully performed in venues ranging from village halls to 700-seater Victorian theatres. It is ideally suited to black box studio theatres, but by no means exclusively. Production is highly flexible and if any of the stated technical requirements present a difficulty or query, then please do contact us. The artists will happily work in non-performance venues, provided there is a point of focus for the performance and minimal noise intrusion from adjoining areas.
Minimum get-in (prior to house opening): 2 hours
Performance length: approx 2 hours (including 15 minute interval). The performance is in two parts, of approximately 1 hour the first half and 45 minutes the second.
Target audience: Adult: (not suitable for children under 14 years)
Performance area: minimum dimensions: 5m width, 4m depth, 3m headroom.
Black drapes. (If not available free standing supports and fire-retardant drapes will be provided be the artists)
1 adjustable piano stool (ideally), or a plain wooden armless chair
1 small table at minimum 2’ 6” high
Lighting: The musician occupies an area upstage left and needs a lamp for reading music. The storyteller uses the centre stage and downstage left.
A relatively ‘cold’ lighting state (assorted, straw, pale blues, greens, etc) needs to be created – there are only two states: a preset and a performance state.
There are no lighting cues and the artists are happy for technical staff to be creative.
In venues without theatre lighting, a very basic 4-lamp portable lighting rig can be provided, which the artists will transport and erect - provided an additional member of staff can be accommodated overnight (twin room with one of the artists).
Sound: In smaller venues (up to approx 150 seating capacity) the performance can be self-sufficient with acoustic spoken word, and amplified music, samples and song via artist’s own portable PA. Power will be required.
In larger venues, where audience capacity and venue demand full amplification, requirements are as follows, and a sound technician will be required:-
1 lavalier type radio microphone for Ben
2 standing microphones for vocals for Sianed
1 microphone for Harmonium
1 DI or microphone for Bass amp
1 DI or microphone for the violin amp
1 on stage monitor for Sianed
1 on stage monitor for Ben
1 4 way power extension lead
For further information, and to book, please contact the programme manager, Kate Norgate
07791 157 437