Beauty’s Legacy

The sci-fi comedy/drama Beauty’s Legacy is a futuristic version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It is a story of love, lost and – well, lust. Examining our obsession with appearance and self-improvement, the play makes some weighty comments on contemporary culture. But more importantly, Beauty’s Legacy is fun. With a distinct visual style and a great electronic soundtrack, it introduces the most beautiful and vain monster the world has ever seen. And boy, will there be consequences.

The play makes some weighty comments on contemporary culture.

The show is created and written by Mark Finbow and Simon-Anthony Rhoden, who play the main roles of Victor, a revered geneticist and his geeky lab assistant Lance, who becomes the new and improved Lance-a-lot. The third cast member is Victor’s wife Constance, played by Eloise Secker. There is great chemistry between the relaxed cast who seem to enjoy themselves as much as we do.

This is very physical theatre with slapstick comedy, spoken word and choruses thrown in for good measure. An electronic soundtrack by the Brighton-based synthpop band Mirrors plays an essential role. The story is carried forward by musical interludes, acted in slow-motion and resembling a weird Depeche Mode music video. But in this case, that’s a good thing. The set is minimalistic to say the least, but it is amazing what you can do with some lights and shadow figures.

The Dukebox Theatre is a new intimate 50-seat venue at the back of the Iron Duke pub. On Saturday night it was a full house of Fringe fans enjoying their Bank Holiday weekend. We participated eagerly in the events, helping the actors to go the extra mile in their performances. The obvious star of the show was the ‘well-packed’ Lance-a-lot, parading around in his golden suit with a smile that could sell toothpaste. Rhoden was truly in his element as the irresistible yet totally obnoxious monster with an ego to match.

Beauty’s Legacy is the first show East Anglian theatre company Keeper’s Daughter has taken outside the county’s boundaries. Formed in 2009, they’ve earned a reputation for turning well-known stories inside out in a bizarre but entertaining fashion. This is also the case with Beauty’s Legacy. All Victor really wanted to do was to create something beautiful, even if beauty is only skin deep. But good intentions don’t always lead to good deeds. What is the legacy we leave behind? And is there still a chance for us ugly people?

Reviews by Johanna Makelainen

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The Blurb

Part Bladerunner, part Frankenstein, part Slimming World… A sci-fi comedy/drama. Revered geneticist Victor uses his maladjusted lab assistant as a guinea pig, creating the most beautiful, stylish and vain monster in the world. Ensuing events threaten to tear apart his career, his marriage and all society. Visually stylish and with an electronic soundtrack, 'Beauty’s Legacy' rips through media culture, tears open financially obsessed societies and examines the value of the legacy we leave behind.