Known for their innovative theatre heavily incorporating multimedia elements, Imitating the Dog bring a new production, inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, to The Courtyard Theatre where Leo Owen caught the show

A modern set, generic in style, resembling a private hospital room frames two actors, introduced via interpretive dance. The unnamed young couple are unexpectedly soon to be parents, debating whether to proceed with the pregnancy. The BBC audio recording they’re listening to of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or the “Modern Prometheus” is the link between two parallel stories.

Contact with electrical equipment and visceral choreography courtesy of Casper Dillen jump the narrative from the present to the past. Georgia-Mae Myers plays Captain Walton and the Monster while Nedum Okonyia takes on Victor Frankenstein.

Andrew Crofts’ lighting and Davi Callanan’s video design seamlessly link the past and present, transporting us between the claustrophobia of a flat in the present and Shelley’s multiple settings. Projected numbers and foetus progress the couple’s pregnancy. Pete Brooks, Andrew Quick and Simon Wainwright’s script is peppered too with birthing imagery while James Hamilton’s sound design features amplified heart beats and dark classical music.

Exploring the human condition without any subtlety, Imitating the Dog in conjunction with Leeds Playhouse, are faithful to Shelley’s original themes, questioning identity, alongside cause and effect. Bringing an already timely tale further into the present, they consider too the consequences of climate change for future generations and voice some more taboo outlooks on parenthood.

Thought-provoking, and overtly tackling important and often overlooked viewpoints, Frankenstein feels as fragmentary as the composition of its Monster; those unfamiliar with the original story, will be none the wiser from this production. Choreography, although impressively athletic and beautiful to watch, jars the most, but still doesn’t stop this from being both bold and captivating. Undoubtedly striking, it’s a highly charged and atmospheric fresh take on a well-trodden narrative.