Frankenstein- Theatre Review


Going into the foyer, people cluster in groups, excitedly anticipating the beginning of the play. At around 7pm, the doors open and people begin to enter the theatre in droves. Sitting at the back row,I was ready to see Frankenstein performed on stage. Preparing myself, I eagerly wait for the opening scene, my eyes straining in the dark to take notes.

It was a marvellous show, very in depth on the events surrounding Victor’s life and the creature’s journey since his creation. I was conflicted between whether I should sympathise with Victor or the creature, as both of them were morally divided, carrying guilt and loss. Victor Frankenstein, the main protagonist, uses such stark and eloquent language. Amongst all the gore, humorous scenes are scattered in between the main action. A story weaved on stage before an enraptured audience.

There were two acts, the first was about one and a half hours and then the second act was about an hour. This was still surprising considering most of the main events from the novel were included so timing could’ve been longer. It was quite succinct. With a cast of twenty-one actors, there was always something happening on stage. It was highly engaging and everyone gave splendid performances. Besides Victor Frankenstein and the creature, the landlord, Henry and the captain stood out to me.

The play begins on a boat in the middle of the Arctic Sea. The crew and captain have caught a stowaway and demand he be watched. It’s highly suspicious to be out here. Victor Frankenstein, played by Scott McArdle, tells the captain his life story, flashing back 15 years to when he grew up in a Swiss family. His father, mother, brother William, friend Henry and adopted sister Elizabeth. His mother’s death during his childhood wasa turning point. His father avenges her death and the family never fully recovered. To escape the solemn household, Victor decides he was to be a doctor. He travels to Germany in hope of studying to become a physician. In search of lodgings, his misfortune leads him to renting the attic and having to put up with his crazed landlord. In his growing, morbid fascination with life and death, he ignores that he has a responsibility as a doctor. In the present, Victor chases after his own memories, haunted by his decisions and his guilt. In the second act, the creature goes through its life of suffering, starting when Victor abandoned him.

Written by Mary Shelley, the script was adapted for the theatre by Scott McArdle. Frankenstein was originally a novel and considered literature. McArdle managed somehow to write the script, direct and act in the same play. Originally Aaron Jay was going to be Victor Frankenstein, though something happened last minute that prevented him from continuing. Scott was able to take on the role within 6 weeks. Being experienced in adapting to the demand  is a distinguishing ability for an actor to have.

The production was able to find a way to have wolves and a horse on stage, with enough fine detail to provoke the imagination. The smoke machine was frequently used  for storms, fires and foggy streets, allowing for a realistic atmosphere. The costumes were very practical and precise. The sound was effective in application and enhanced the impact of the action on stage. The lighting was elaborate and complemented the sound-scape.

The same set as Dracula and The Mummy was used, adapted specifically for this performance. It suited well in the differing settings but the set was installed with a ‘fold out’ bed and I noticed that it was already stained before the action began. This is most likely from one of the rehearsals or the preview on Wednesday. The bed itself was a great addition to the set, it just slightly disrupted the illusion.

This production of Frankenstein retains the potent horror and mystery of Mary Shelley’s novel. With a creative production team and a skilled cast of 21 people collaborating, the production was remarkable. It was both shocking and delightfully gruesome, yet not overly violent. I highly recommend seeing Frankenstein at Nexus Theatre, rating, 8/1013815001_1131536043573986_1478498729_n

Murdoch Open Day
Check out the Nexus Theatre and learn more about Murdoch Theatre at the Murdoch Open Day on Sunday. There will be a presentation and several performances throughout the day at the South Street Campus. 10am-4pm

Upcoming Plays at Murdoch University

Circle, July 28th-30th, Studio 411 Written by Sean Wcislo and directed by Leigh Fitzpatrick. A group of friends take a roadtrip, going on a journey physically and emotionally. Their friendships are severely tested when they get lost. 6;30pm open, 7pm start

In August
2084- Presented by Murdoch University PHD candidates, starting August 18th. Nexus Theatre. A musical, inspired by the novel of George Orwell- 1984. The original script for the production is the product of Sarah Courtis’ and Ellin Sear’s PhD theses. = More information will come some. Have a look at the description on the FB event. 

Frankenstein- FB Page
Second Chance Theatre
Circle-FB Event
2084-FB Event
Murdoch Open Day

Murdoch Theatre in July

Next month, a trilogy of horror plays will be performed at the Nexus Theatre. The Gothics Project has been a great undertaking for Nexus Theatre, Murdoch Theatre Company, From The Hip Productions and Second Chance Theatre. The directors, John King, Tim Brain and Scott McArdle, have been developing the project from the initial vision they had. Each have dedicated time, effort and money towards making the Gothics project a reality. The lighting, set design, costuming and special effects are top notch and will give the plays a ‘gothic feel’. One set is being shared by the three companies in their technically driven productions. This dynamic two-level set  will take the audience from Castle Dracula, London, Egypt and to the Arctic sea, through the use of stylistic changes to adapt each setting.

The first production, Dracula has begun setting up in the theatre with assembling started on the 27th of June.

Check out the FB event links below for more details on this month’s theatre productions.

Play #1: Dracula
Showings: Thursday July 7th to Saturday July 9th @ 7:30pm
Director: John King
Theatre Company: Murdoch Theatre Company
Script:  This stage play adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel was written by Hamilton Deane and revised by John L. Balderstone in 1927 at Broadway for an American audience. (Samuel French)
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Horror
Cast/Crew: 11 actor cast

Play #2: The Mummy Rises
The Mummy Rises was written by Tim Brain and is derived from the original 1999 film starring Brendan Fraser. The humour of Abbott and Costello tackles the haunting of an Egyptian mummy after it arrives at the British museum in London 1890. The play blends  comedy and horror in a brilliant balance made for the stage. The Victorian era language is made more accessible through Tim Brain’s writing. The script takes on a feminist angle with Clare Waldren as a female heroine who rescues the men. Christie Struass performs as Clare Waldren and Andrew David takes the role of Alfie Bray.
Showings: July 14-16th 7:30pm, plus a matinee @2pm on Saturday July 16th
Director: Tim Brain
Theatre Company: From The Hip Productions
Script: Original script written by Tim Brain, specifically commissioned for this project.
Genre: Comedy Thriller
Cast/Crew: 10 actor cast

Play #3: Frankenstein
Showings: Thursday July 21st until Saturday 23rd @ 7:30pm (doors open 7pm)
Director: Scott McArdle
Theatre Company: Second Chance Theatre
Script: This adaptation written by Scott McArdle revitalises Mark Shelley’s classic novel
Genre: Horror, Romance
Cast/Crew: 20 actor cast

Reviews will be coming for all three plays so check out the links below if you are interested in getting tickets.

Relevant Links-

Tickets for the Gothics
Dracula – Event Page
The Mummy Rises –  Event Page
Frankenstein – Event Page

Murdoch Theatre Company
From The Hip Productions
Second Chance Theatre
Modicum Theatre Perth Inc.

Ariana’s Guide to Student Theatre Pt. 2

This year at Murdoch University, the theatre scene started off strong with productions showcased in the 2016 Fringe Festival during February. At Nexus Theatre: ‘Thaw: A Science Fiction Play’ was presented by Thought Jar Productions, written and directed by Stephen B. Platt. At Studio 411: ‘Roommates Live from apartment 19’ was presented by Top and Tail Theatre, written by Sean Wcislo and directed by Nick Morant. Sincerely Yours: A New Musical presented by Stray Cats Theatre Company, was written by Jason Arrow and Kohan van Sambeeck. Plus, ‘ROPE’ which was presented by Presidential Productions in Studio 411.

Fringe World website:

Theatre Companies at Murdoch University have presented four productions so far this year. ‘Roommates live from Apartment 19’ was presented by Top and Tail Theatre on February 18th-20th. ‘Titus Andronicus’ was presented by the Postgraduate Performance Group and directed by Jenny De Reuck with shows from February 25th-27th. ‘Boise, Idaho’ was performed from March 31st– April 2nd, it was presented by Black Martini Theatre, written by Sean Michael Welch and directed by Luke Gratton. ‘Punk Rock’ was performed April 28th-30th, it was presented by Murdoch Theatre Company, directed by Tay Broadley, co-directed by Justin Crossley and Assistant Directed by Katie Southwell.

De Reuck is a lecturer for English and Theatre & a director/designer at Murdoch University. She’ll be directing another show this year starting on November 24th.

I personally was only able to see Roommates live and Boise, Idaho this semester. ‘Roommates live from Apartment 19’ was brilliantly written by Wcislo with dozens of breath-taking funny moments, rampant chaos and a spontaneous love triangle. In this Britishsque comedy, the actors in Roommates fabulously portrayed both whimsical and lovable characters.

‘Boise, Idaho’ was very amusing and it ingeniously explored an original idea, of when reality becomes fictitious and the truth escapes from the clutches of life’s ‘hidden’ narrator. The cast was amazing in performing this play full of witty and sharp dialogue, I just wish it had been slightly longer though.

Roommates live from Apartment 19:

Boise, Idaho:

Murdoch Theatre Companies: Productions

Theatre Production Units (3 productions this year, not including monologue nights)

Murdoch University PHD candidates (3 productions, one in August 18-20, two in September 15-17, 22-24)


From the Hip Productions (‘The Gothics: The Mummy Rises’, on July 14th-17th this year)

From the Hip Productions was founded by Tim Brain in 1995. From the Hip Productions aims to foster artistic vision, innovation and design in the realm of theatre. Tim Brain works alongside John King (Second Chance Theatre) behind the scenes at Nexus Theatre (Lighting, Sound & Stage Management). Through rain or illness, they are devoutly devoted to training the next generation of theatre technicians, designers and directors.  Their encouragement and support has greatly contributed to keeping theatre at Murdoch University going for the last, nearly twenty years…

Facebook page:

At Murdoch University, there are several theatre companies established as Guild Societies:

blackmartini.jpg Black Martini Theatre (5 productions this year)

 Black Martini Theatre was founded in 2014 by Artistic genius and director, Thomas Dimmick. Black Martini is kept running by the dedicated and innovative club president, Jess Serio. Black Martini Theatre offers golden opportunities for emerging actors, Playwrights, stage managers and designers. The last couple years have brought a list of tastefully chosen plays which showcased that talent and ability of these emerging artists in Western Australia. Black Martini Theatre presents a variety of amazing and artistically sophisticated shows each year and will ‘set the stage’ with performances that catch the intrigue of theatre goers at Murdoch University for the coming years.



Top and Tail Theatre Company (3 productions this year)

Top and Tail Theatre was founded on June 14th 2015, through the collaboration of Nick Morant and Ryan Partridge. Their love for all things British has resulted in the company which aims to preserve British style and comedy through producing quality theatre performances throughout the year. They aspire to pursue combining theatre styles with British elements and a might touch the whimsical. (in the process…) It’s very difficult NOT to enjoy everything British: (in any form or matter if I do say so myself!) British accents, British men, British Tea, British humour and styled coats & cravats…. Both the extensive history and elegant artistic style that Britain has to offer and stories of extraordinary people might find their way into Top and Tail Theatre productions.

Facebook page:

Contact email:

Murdoch Theatre Company (3 productions this year)

Murdoch Theatre Company was founded in 2010 and is run by the students of Murdoch. Murdoch Theatre Company provides people passionate about theatre (even people not studying theatre) with opportunities to produce theatre. From producing a classic play to one newly written, this company encourages everyone to join them in transforming words on the page to enthralling performances on stage. Be they actors or interested in the meticulously development of backstage design or directing, they’ll offer their support and keep you up to date on upcoming productions & auditions in their company. For those who wish to direct or have an original script ideas, they’ll get you connected and give you guidance to make your theatre aspirations become a reality.

Facebook page:

Contact Email:

   Second Chance Theatre (1 production- The Gothics:  Frankenstein, July 21-23)secondchance.jpg

Second Chance Theatre was founded in 2011 is the result of Scott McArdle’s vision in salvaging the Performing Arts in Perth and producing original plays. Second Chance Theatre offers actors and writers, either studying or graduated, to work together in creating and producing plays that are both entertaining and thought provoking. Scott McArdle is a ‘jack of all trades’ as he’s a writer, director AND an actor. McArdle has been described by METIOR’s former editor, Madura McCormack as ‘Murdoch’s rising theatre star’. He has directed, written and acted in dozens of plays at Nexus Theatre, The Blue Room and for Arts Festivals. With shows such as ‘Coincidences at the End of Time’ and ‘Between Solar Systems’, he’s taking over Murdoch Theatre by storm… (a storm of gothic and science fiction plays)

Facebook page:



Ariana’s Guide to Student Theatre Pt. 1

By Ariana Rosenberg

Hey there readers!

My name is Ariana, and I’ll be your guide to this year’s spectacular season of Murdoch Theatre!

I’ll firstly go and introduce the fact that Murdoch does incorporate theatre into its Arts Degree and where the plays are located with a guide to the theatre companies at Murdoch University coming at you tomorrow.

There will be a recap of the year of theatre so far in this article. From then on, this space will feature a monthly article on the plays for the month and then a review and/or an article for each play. (I’ll aim to see the Thursday showing and have the review up by the Friday afternoon.)

Upcoming Articles and Reviews

Stay tuned for the next set of articles & reviews this week! The first article will overview the upcoming plays in June. There will be three productions in June, ‘Women’ (Black Martini Theatre), ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author’ (Top and Tail Theatre) and ‘Play in a Day’ (a Black Martini Theatre competition).

The second will feature an in depth article on Black Martini Theatre’s production of ‘Women’ directed by Jess Serio and written by Chiara Atik. ‘Women’ débuts in Studio 411 at the South Street campus on June 9th, June 10th and June 11th, doors open for a 7pm start. (It’s good to be there ten minutes prior). I had the honour of going to a rehearsal on Saturday night (May 14th, 14 6-9pm) and it’s absolutely hilarious! I won’t spoil anything about the play, and the article will include a bit of a Q&A from the cast and crew.  The cast are definitely dedicated to the play and are extremely close to going through the whole play completely without the script.

‘Women’ Facebook page event:

This July, From the Hip Productions, in collaboration with Murdoch Theatre Company and Second Chance Theatre will be producing a fantastic line up of Gothic plays. From the vision of three experienced directors (John King, Tim Brain and Scott McArdle), three classic monsters take over the stage to show that gothic thrillers can definitely be performed through the Performing Arts with the right blend of design, acting and special effects.  There’ll also be plenty of reviews outside of Murdoch University to read about this mammoth sized project, two years in the making… I had the pleasure of going to the media launch on Wednesday afternoon, unfortunately I haven’t read any of the reviews so far. Tickets went on sale on Friday May 13th (how terrifyingly fantastic!) So take a look and learn more about The Gothics Project trilogy!

Nexus Theatre Facebook page:

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Theatre at Murdoch

Murdoch University is blessed with two theatre stages, one is in Nexus Theatre next to the Library on South Street’s Bush Court, the other is in Studio 411 near the Tavern and adjacent to the Murdoch Gym. Each year, Murdoch Theatre companies plan and produce plays with talented actors, production crew and directors who are studying or have graduated from Murdoch’s Theatre and Drama Arts major. Nexus Theatre has been at Murdoch University since 1993 and has seats for up to 175 people. The newly renovated Studio 411 is used for Drama workshops and also has seating for 65 people. Nexus Theatre is currently prospering under the wonderful tutelage of senior technicians and managers, Tim Brain and John King.

Plays at Murdoch University are usually on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. With only the two venues, there’s limited clashes and the productions usually get three days to a week to prepare the venue. Play productions have a ‘bump in’ (where the crew set up the stage/set design, move in props/costume and also have a dress rehearsal on stage with lighting & sound), have three evening shows and then a ‘bump out’ (move everything out to be stored). Sometimes there’s a matinee, an afternoon show on the Saturday. Show times vary between 7pm and 7:30 most of the time. Prices are very affordable for Perth, at $10-15 per ticket, the $10 concession being for University students. (Try to have tickets ready for the show night, a few days beforehand at best) All productions have access to an extensive backstage cornucopia of props, costumes, lighting rigs and sound design. They each possess the capability to be technically advanced and stylized, with plenty of room for emerging directors and designers to experiment with the ‘tools of their trade’.

For the practical theatre units, there’s a production night for either a play, group performances or a Monologues night (monologues are a single actor/character short script). The Nexus Theatre is also available to hire for a variety of external clients from Secondary schools, bands to professional companies for events such as dance performances, live music, cultural performances and presentations. Anything outside of theatre units and external organisations/schools is on the initiative of established theatre clubs (Theatre Companies) at Murdoch University.

Nexus Theatre website:

Nexus Theatre Facebook page:

The Gothics Launch Event Q&A

A little bit about me, your somewhat unbiased Theatre Guru: Ariana Rose

My name is Ariana and I turn 20 in June this year. I’m currently studying English and Creative Writing and will nominate Drama and Theatre as my double major once I’ve finished my first year (I started mid-semester last year).  You can see how ‘unbiased’ I am by counting how many adjectives and pronouns I toss around in such a carefree manner. I’ve grown up being surrounded by art and the Performing Arts in Arizona, United States. My parents encouraged me to partake in Theatre productions at Desert Theatre Stages. (They had both Children’s Theatre and Young Adult Theatre seasons) I was usually playing a minor role, like a street urchin in Cinderella, kid in a candy shop in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and under the crocodile in Peter Pan…. (I don’t really remember the rehearsal process, just moments from the actual performance. I enjoyed the drama camps the most.)

I moved to Perth in 2008, and while my path (in high school) wasn’t always been easy (though I know It could’ve been worse) I still remain enthralled by how theatre enables us to see the world around us, gives perspective to the pressing issues which have and will effect societies and brings to life masterfully crafted and performed characters which dance all over my heart. I aspire to write my own scripts, books and short fiction in the future, though I feel it’s best to start somewhere, even if it’s on a smaller scale. I’m currently not the most outgoing person, but I definitely improve and become wiser each year… It’s definitely noticeable in my thinking process and writing style. I created a website few years ago which I revamped in December. It’s still just blossoming and I haven’t been able to nurture or properly write stuff on it, besides some updates on my writing processes and publications portfolio.

It’s quite difficult for me to actually be ambitious, so I admit here that I’m interested in post-graduate studies such as Performance Writing, Language/Linguistics, Education and maybe in Business Management. But I’m keeping my options open and trying not to think that far ahead. I also hope to work on either creating or helping already established Not for Profit Organisation/s that would focus on education/literary, Health & Social Welfare services, Sustainability and hopefully will also help the Arts and Cultural diversity in Australia continue to prosper and actually be funded.

Desert Stages Theatre:

Scottsdale, Arizona:

Rose On The Horizon Website: