Gothic adaptation of classic play in Portsmouth is a hit

(l-r) ''Peter Rapp, 'Ben Schofield and 'Phoebe Ruttle 'perfoming in Alive! at the Square Tower.
(l-r) ''Peter Rapp, 'Ben Schofield and 'Phoebe Ruttle 'perfoming in Alive! at the Square Tower.

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THE gothic scene was set in an atmospheric corner of Portsmouth.

An eerily-lit Square Tower in Old Portsmouth played host to a performance of a haunting adaptation of a literary classic.

Drama students from Portsmouth Grammar School put on the play Alive – inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The performance, which took place last night, was part of the Portsmouth Festivities.

It will also be performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Hastings Tarrant, 16, is an International Baccalaureate drama student at Portsmouth Grammar School.

He along with two other pupils wrote an adapted script of the classic play.

He said: ‘We kept a lot of the original themes and tones.

‘But what we also did was leave room for actors to interpret. It meant the whole piece really evolved very quickly, but was great to see.

‘We knew the venues that we would be performing at are quite gothic, so we were keen to keep that mood in the play, which worked really well.

‘It was great to be a part of the Portsmouth Festivities and I think it’s an integral part of the city.’

The intimate play was carried out in front of around 40 people.

Fiona Mackenzie, 50 of Hill Head, came along with her son Fraser, 19, and mother Shirley Dickson, 80.

Mrs Mackenzie’s son Lewis, 17, had taken part.

She said: ‘The Festivities are always very interesting and diverse.

‘Lewis kept very quiet about what the performance was going to be like.

‘But it was great, I found it very intriguing.’

One spectator found it interesting.

Rene Filho, 60, of Portsmouth, said: ‘There was a mixture of passion and fire in the performance, and also elements of fear and surprise.

‘It was very interesting.’

The piece was directed by John-Paul McCrohon, who said: ‘What the students did was fantastic.

‘We took the as a starting point, then boiled it down between the main elements and the main relationship between the creator and the monster.

‘Everything people saw, students had taken complete ownership of things.’