The Family Frankenstein...
The creation of the concept of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster was almost as outrageous as the creation of the monster itself.
That an eighteen year old English girl, of 'good' family, was wandering around Europe in the company of her lover was shocking enough in the early 1800s. Her parents, although forward-thinking intellectuals, cannot have been at all happy about it. Then the girl - Mary Godwin - and her lover went to stay in Switzerland with that most scandalous of men - George, Lord Byron, whose love affair with the equally scandalous Lady Caroline Lamb was the delighted gossip of London (it was bad enough when Lady Caroline, a married woman, dressed up in man’s clothes to pursue Byron in the guise of his page; when she took all her clothes off for a surprise appearance among the dishes on the dining table she certainly got everyone’s attention - except that of Byron who had been doing his best to avoid her for some time.)
Byron, Mary Godwin and her lover, Percy Shelley (they later married), and John Polidori, Byron’s personal doctor, decided to pass the time in their Swiss villa by writing horror stories. The two poets did well - the two amateurs did better: Polidori eventually produced the first vampire story, and Mary Godwin wrote the story of Frankenstein, the scientific genius who builds a monster and electrifies him into life.
Since then, Dr. Frankenstein’s monster has spawned an entire genre. The story was copied, plagiarised, turned into a theatre play (none of the profits went to Mary) and appears to be as popular today as it ever was, 200 years ago.
With the 200th anniversary of the story, in 2014, the Monster gained a new lease of life and one result was that two of the theatre groups in the Algarve both decided - quite independently - that Frankenstein’s monster was just what was needed to liven up the winter months. The Algarvians are putting on Frankenstein - the Panto, in March 2016, and the same month sees the birth of Dr. and Mrs. Frankenstein’s little boy in Aperitivo’s Transylvania Dreaming.
We in Aperitivo are not restricting ourselves to the troubles of the Family Frankenstein, however. Working on the principle that you can never have too many monsters, we have cast our net wide and dragged in vampires, werewolves, King Kong, Gollum and a very odd band of foxhunters. Aperitivo’s annual winter extravaganza has the reputation of being a little crazed, and Transylvania Dreaming certainly continues the trend.
Tickets - 8euros for theatre alone, or 12euros including chilli and a Bloody Mary - are available for the following performances:
Museum, São Brás: Friday February 26th, Saturday 27th February 2016
Clube de Tavira: Saturday 5th March, Sunday 6th March
Casa do Povo, Moncarapacho: Saturday 12th March
Finally Jane got to pretend she was Jane Austen at our Regency-style Summer Ball. It was a beautiful evening and a lovely atmosphere - click on the Summer Ball page to see some of our nice photos.
Should Alberich the sulphur dwarf fall for one of the magical Rhinedaughters -
or will they just slip through his fingers?
Alberich meets the Rhinedaughters in the opening scene of Bi-Cycle, our hilarious spoof on Wagner's Ring Cycle, performances 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 February.
Aperitivo celebrates São Brás' Centenary!
Throughout this year residents of São Brás will be celebrating an important landmark in their town’s history. Exactly 100 years ago it became an independent council. Aperitivo's new play, ‘Rags to Riches’ recounts some of the significant people and events that lead to this change of status.
Once a rural hamlet but by the end of the 19th century the area had become an urban settlement with many businesses connected to the cork industry. Without an official name it was a no-man’s land situated between Faro and Alportel. In 1914 - due to the persistent efforts of a group of local residents - it became recognised as a separate municipality to be named Concelho de São Brás de Alportel.
In the years before this happened, the business ventures of Miguel Dias - a humble peasant-cum-entrepreneur - helped transform the hamlet into a town. The founder of one of the first and most successful businesses, he attracted people from across the region looking for employment. With a team of mules, donkeys and carts, his large workforce transported cork from the Alentejo to processing factories in places as far afield as Silves. Bringing prosperity to the area, his business made him a well-known figure and also a personal fortune. A colourful character who charmed the ladies and lead a profligate lifestyle; the mansion that he built is now São Brás Museum.
‘Rags to Riches’ tells the story of Miguel’s remarkable life and of his unexpected death. Written in rhyming verse by Carolyn Kain, with elements in Portuguese and musical interludes, it has a cast of 13 directed by Gertrud Durnholz.
As explained by Emanuel Sancho, Director of São Brás Museum, “The play is one of many events planned over the course of the year. We have organised exhibitions, lectures and demonstrations to honour the memory of past citizens. Various meetings will reflect upon the past, look towards the future and our collective identity as a multinational town.”
‘Rags to Riches’ – performances at São Brás Museum
September 19th and 20th at 7.30pm
Tickets 15€ includes 3 course dinner.
(5€ play / lasts 35 minutes. 10€ meal)
On sale from September 1st.
Telephone: - 966 329 073
Website: - www.aperitivoperformancegroup.net
Rags to Riches!
The young Miguel Días meets the girl who will be his first bride...
Young Miguel is played by Miguel Cosme, and his first bride is played by Tatyana Strepko.
(photo ⓒ Peter Kain)
Rehearsals are under way of "Rags to Riches", the legend of Miguel Días, the man who began as a simple carter, and ended as one of the richest men in São Brás de Alportel and built the beautiful mansion that today is the Museu do Trajo Algarvio.
The 'epic' poem was written in English by Carolyn Kain and has additions in Portuguese. The performance, by a cast of 13, is accompanied by traditional songs. Direction by Gertrud Dürnholz.
Performances: Friday September 19 and Saturday September 20 at 7.30 pm
The show lasts approximately 35 minutes and tickets cost 5€, although those who remember the splendid dinner served by Chef Mark at the Murder Mystery in May will definitely want to take advantage of the special theatre+dinner price of 15€!
For reservations contact Amigos Office (from September 1st):- 966 329 073, or book through Aperitivo's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
he story of Miguel Dias who built São Bras Museum.
Told in rhyme by a cast of 13 accompanied by traditional songs.
Written in English by Carolyn Kain including Portuguese sections by Jane Page
Directed by Gertrud Durnholz
Friday September 19 and Saturday September 20 at 7-30 pm
Show lasts 35 minutes/ Tickets ?€
Three- course meal after the show 10 €
For reservations contact Amigos Office (from September 1st):- 966 329 073
Chief Detective Inspector Spade appears nonplussed, but I think Miss Prunes has an idea of who might be the guilty party...
The scripts are out for Bi-Cycle, work has started on the costumes, and also on the poster. Can hardly believe the luck of finding an image of a Valkyrie with a bicycle to play with!
Performance dates have been brought forward to allow various actors to go on holiday afterwards (they will probably need one!) and Bi-Cycle will now be presented to a stunned and admiring audience in the second half of February 2015.
Work - or at least plans for work - is already under way for next Winter's grand show. Inspired by the sterling performance of Natascha Wocke as Brünnhilde in The Everlasting Circle, writer Jane Page determined to tackle the entire Ring Cycle of Wagner for winter 2014.
However, being unable to face a 3-day performance, let alone stage the Destruction of the World, she has cut (or bi-sected - hence Bi-Cycle) the story of The Ring so that it should fit into a normal evening's entertainment. ('normal' is possibly not the most accurate word for a play that will contain 3 Rhine daughters, 3 gods, 3 Valkyries, 1 hero, 1 fire spirit, 1 earth spirit, several dwarves and 2 giants, one of whom turns into a dragon.)
Plans are for a sumptuous presentation, with performances around mid March 2015.
Aperitivo, like all other groups in the São Brás area, was asked to contribute something in celebration of the centenary of São Brás de Alportel as a Concelho.
One of our new members, well-known journalist Carolyn Kain, immediately set to and wrote an epic poem around the story of Miguel Dias, the muleteer-made-good who built the grand mansion that is now the Museu do Trajo. It is an interesting, not to say scurrilous, story with plenty of gossip and will make a lively presentation. Plans are to perform it in the style of a vintage, black and white movie, with a background of old photos to Miguel and his various brides, plus a neo-Greek chorus of disgruntled peasants.
Gertrud Dürnholz will direct.