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Norfolk Tourism Awards

Norwich production puts the focus on male mental health

PUBLISHED: 17:02 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:03 23 August 2018

MOCO Theatre's usual all-male cast introduces a female actor. Picture: Patrick Watson Photography

MOCO Theatre's usual all-male cast introduces a female actor. Picture: Patrick Watson Photography

Patrick Watson Photography

A quirky Norwich venue is wowing audiences once again with a new play designed to increase awareness of mental health issues affecting young men.

Frankenstein's Monster, played by Dora LeBorgne, projecting his anger for Victor Frankenstein, played by Joe Derbyshire. Picture: Quenelle ForbesFrankenstein's Monster, played by Dora LeBorgne, projecting his anger for Victor Frankenstein, played by Joe Derbyshire. Picture: Quenelle Forbes

MOCO Theatre has returned to The Shoe Factory Social Club with their new play, FRANKENSTEIN, in which Mary Shelley’s gothic novel is turned into a production that creates a conversation about the significance of male mental health.

Normally an all-male company, MOCO have decided to shake things up by introducing a female actor, Dora LeBorgne, to play the role of Frankenstein’s monster.

Director, Michelle Montague, said: “Those who shared in our production of A Clockwork Orange will know that a male actor playing a female role offers a unique voice to a production. With gender identity being a huge topic of debate and finally getting the time in the spotlight it deserves, we didn’t see how MOCO could not join in.”

She believes ‘mental health is intrinsic to Frankenstein’. A workshop the group held in May for Male Mental Health as part of Norwich Theatre Royal’s Creative Matters allowed MOCO to explore ideas about anxiety.

Joe Derbyshire believes the famous novel is 'one large anxiety attack'. Picture: Quenelle ForbesJoe Derbyshire believes the famous novel is 'one large anxiety attack'. Picture: Quenelle Forbes

The group’s patron, Sam Clemmett, who is currently on Broadway starring in Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, said “The work Michelle and her company are doing is very exciting and looks fantastic. It will be inspiring.”

MOCO is sponsored by Hatch Brenner solicitors and Michelle would like to thank Oscar Gerdes and his staff at The Garden House pub as well as Sam Coe from The Wharf Academy for their support.

It runs until Saturday with full details at mocotheatre.com/projects.

REVIEW

The audience was completely immersed in the performance. As we walked around with the performers, the lines between audience and performers we’re quickly blurred a.

This production was set in an old shoe factory which was the perfect location for MOCO to express their creative take on the famous Mary Shelley novel. The masses of space allowed the performers to make smooth transitions from scene to scene.

Live music, a great script and amazing acting all allowed this unique piece of theatre to quickly become one of my favourite productions I’ve seen! I encourage everyone to go and see it before it ends on Saturday.

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