Frankenstein, Richmond Theatre - ★★★ - Until November 23, 2019


Within the framework of the horror genre, Mary Shelley explores profound questions that remain amazingly relevant to contemporary society. It is almost hard to credit that, as part of a contest, an eighteen year old young woman living on the brink of the scientific revolution was able to anticipate so many of the issues that still trouble us today. If there is a God why does he seem to assume so little responsibility for the happiness of his creations? In a world of genetic engineering, science can do so many things, but should it? What are the responsibilities of the privileged to those less fortunate? Mary Shelley gives us a lot to ponder. However, in this production it remains unclear why she is introduced as a character and narrator of the action. Her presence does not really take us into her creative process and her commentary serves mainly to interrupt the action and distract from the viewer's involvement. Her frequent asides and often cruel mockery of her own characters seem quite unnecessary. Another question about this production is the decision to have many of the actors declaim their lines rather than offering a more nuanced reading. Horror stories work best when the terror intrudes on the ordinary and the familiar. This presentation of Frankenstein, his family and his monster do not seem to invite the audience to share their world. Despite these caveats, Mary Shelley's work remains a vibrant, dramatic and wonderfully thought-provoking narrative and this production can provide an interesting glimpse into its enduring fascination!

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until November 23, 2019
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Wed & Sat: 2:30 pm
Richmond Theatre
Nearest tube: Richmond
https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/frankenstein/richmond-theatre/

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