Frankenstein!

This musical tells the story of Mary Shelley, her marriage to Percy Shelley and the inspiration for her novel Frankenstein. Shrewsbury School has previously brought seven successful productions to the Fringe.

The production opens with Mary recalling her elopement with Percy Shelley, when she was sixteen, leading to her casting out from her family and society. Now in 1816, aged nineteen, she and Shelley are staying at a villa in Geneva with Lord Byron and friends. Byron entertains them by reading ghost stories and suggests that they write their own. Initially, Mary has no ideas but then she recalls hearing her father talk about an experiment in which electricity was put into the corpse of a dead criminal. That night she has a terrifying dream, which gives her the inspiration for Frankenstein and his creation.

The production then switches into Mary’s story, from Frankenstein’s arrival at the University of Ingolstadt and his meeting with Professor Waldemann up to the point where his experiment has been successful. We then return to Mary in 1816, where Shelley tells her to pack up everything because they are going on the Grand Tour. She is unhappy about having to stop working on her novel and concerned that taking the children around Europe will damage their health, but Shelley reassures her that it will be good for them, so she reluctantly agrees.

Her story continues, with the monster roaming the countryside, looking for love and a meaning to his life, but instead finding unhappiness and fear. He asks Frankenstein to make him a mate but is refused so he follows Frankenstein around Europe until the last confrontation takes place in Geneva, where the story ends in misery for all.

The final scene shows Mary at the age of twenty-four. Her two young children have died during their travels in Europe and Percy has just been drowned, leaving her penniless. She has fared no better than the characters in her novel.

This production is simply stunning. The first major scene, in which Shelley and Byron are almost drowned on Lake Geneva, sets the tone. Every member of the cast seems to be on stage at once, moving, singing and being thrown about by the storm. The audience is gripped at once and never released again. The singing is excellent throughout and the ensemble pieces work particularly well. The costumes are rich, colourful and authentic for the early Nineteenth Century. Frankenstein’s creation looks like a monster but is played with great sensitivity; nothing that happens is really his fault; all he wants is to be loved but never can be.

The production is very long – over two hours, with a very short interval – but the time flies by. This is a very professional performance, better than most in London’s West End. Not to be missed.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

History Boys

★★★★

Dracula

★★

Cherry Orchard

★★★★

Azincourt

★★★★

Secret Garden

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Rocket @ Demarco Roxy Art House, 16-26 August 7.15pm (2 hours 5 minutes). Not 20 August

Most Popular See More

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets