AMP: The Electrifying Story of Mary Shelley

Photo by Hunter Canning

By rights this review could and should be vastly more in-depth, but the piece in question is only running until Saturday and the next performance is tonight, so we are in a hurry to publish our impressions. AMP: The Electrifying Story of Mary Shelley is the second of Jody Christopherson’s distinctive solo pieces we have seen. We liked St. Kilda so much we saw it twice and wrote about it here. The current piece shares a lot with its predecessor that we loved: moody, Gothic storytelling; strong feminist themes; vivid horror; and a straight up relish for the love of performance itself. Here, Christopherson mirrors and merges Mary Shelley’s story with that of her greatest creations, Dr. Frankenstein and his monster. She is at once an individual madly driven by circumstances to create…and the creation itself.

Those who already know the author’s biography are apt to appreciate the story best. Shelley was not only the wife of a famous poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, but the daughter of two famous parents, the political philosopher William Godwin and women’s rights pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft. Ironically, the latter is a little neglected here as compared with the other two. Sad though it may be to contemplate, more information about her historical importance may be advisable for the benefit of less enlightened audience members. Just a thought.

Like St. Kilda, the piece is directed by Isaac Byrne, who brings an aesthetic of Brechtian alienation to the proceedings, breaking up the rich language of Christopherson’s monologue with sonic and visual assault like so many dead body parts and lightning bolts. In this he is abetted by sound designer/A.D. Kodi Lynn Milburn and movement director Natalie Deryn Johnson. AND…spooky dry ice and organs in specimen jars! However, I must give you a trigger warning: BOOKS are eviscerated in this production. (Shudder). The image still gives me nightmares.

Make your reservation now! Last night’s show was SRO. Tickets and more info here.