Frankenstein: The Metal Opera began life as a rock/metal concept album, recorded by Richard Campbell of Orpheus Studio, London, and released in December 2012. Co-lyricist Carol Pestridge had always been a huge fan of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, and it was clear that the story would be a perfect match for Richard’s musical style.
A few months after the album was released Washington DC’s Landless Theatre Company contacted Richard to ask permission to be the first to put the album on stage. Richard and Carol were delighted with the idea, and flew over to watch the production in June 2013. Spurred on by the excitement of seeing their work on stage, they immediately set about adapting the album into a theatre script.
That Hallowe’en (2013) they teamed up with Alan Mandel, who directed a workshop version of the show at the Rose & Crown pub in South Ealing, London. The two performances provided an opportunity to test a selection of staging ideas in front of an audience of 200+, and were a real success.
This gave them team the knowledge and experience to put together a complete theatrical version, so the following spring they teamed up with the Lansbury Players, who suggested staging the show at The Space in East London. A week of shows were soon scheduled for that Hallowe’en (2014).
Richard, Carol and Alan (now Orpheus Studio Productions) launched a Kickstarter Campaign in the summer to raise extra funds to help realise their vision of Frankenstein: The Metal Opera on stage. The campaign was a huge success, with 111 backers raising a total of £3,053.
Thanks to the generosity of Kickstarter backers, private investors, and many friends who donated a huge amount of time and expertise, Orpheus Studio’s first ever theatre production was both critically acclaimed and a sell out.