Joseph Morpurgo presents his masterpiece: a boundary-smashing, 9-hour adaption of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Or is it?
Outlandishly funny multimedia comedy and new voodoo from the distinguished mind of the 2015 Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, three-time 2016 Chortle Award winner and BBC Radio Four star Joseph Morpurgo, featuring surreal set-pieces, vivid comic writing, subliminal pulse signals – and monsters. Following sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Soho Theatre, Hammerhead now embarks on a nationwide tour that also includes a special one-off performance at the South Bank Centre on 5th July.
Joseph Morpurgo caught up with us to tell us more about this unique show.
You’re taking Hammerhead out on tour what can you tell us about it?
Hammerhead is my fourth solo show. The premise is that I’ve just performed my absurdly overambitious, nine-hour stage adaptation of Frankenstein – and that you, the audience, have now stuck around for the post-show Q&A. But things aren’t what they seem…It’s very silly, very interactive, and hopefully packed full of twists and surprises.
What was it about the post-show Q&A that made you want to satirise it?
There’s a lot of fun to be had playing around with the types of questions which come in from the audience – ranging from the inane to the pompous to the bizarre. And I like the immersiveness of the concept – the fact that, rather than there being an opaque fourth wall, the whole show is about a back-and-forth between me and the audience.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for a solo show?
Coke (can of); banana (medium size); tuck (Walk To Wok noodles).
How important is the set and multi-media in your shows?
Very important – this show alone has over 450 cues, ranging from sight gags to video interludes to musical numbers. The screen is basically my de facto double act partner – the Ernie to my Eric.
What are you most looking forward to about touring?
Because the audience are so involved throughout the show, the show can feel really different from one night to the next – so it’ll be fun seeing how the show differs town-by-town, region-by-region
How does the Edinburgh Fringe prepare you for a tour?
25 shows in 26 days…it’s the ultimate battle-hardener. Plus all those late night kebabs mean that my gut is heavily primed for a month of service-station fare.
Joseph Morpurgo: Hammerhead will be on a UK tour from 12th March – 5th July. For more information and tickets go to: www.josephmorpurgo-tour.com