Please Note – Reduced capacity and socially distanced seating for our Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening performances of this production.
Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the increasingly desperate and vengeful Creature is determined to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal…
Scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil, are embedded within this thrilling, gory, deeply disturbing classic tale.
Nick Dear’s adaptation of Frankenstein, based on the novel by Mary Shelley, premiered at the National Theatre, London, in February 2011 starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Warning – this play contains scenes of a graphic sexual and violent nature. Not for the faint hearted.
Adapted by Nick Dear
Based on the Novel by Mary Shelley
The rest of the world in which he strives to survive sees him as a freak, incapable of thought or
feeling and the children he comes into contact with pelt him with stones.
resonance that still rings true today.
In 30 years of reviewing amateur theatre I can’t remember a performance as deeply affecting as that
of Rhys Nuttall who plays The Creature.
opening scene and begins a life of unmitigated torment and rejection.
many years to come, for both its searing intensity and unbridled physicality.
literature thanks to the patient and kindly De Lacey, his only friend in the world are beautifully
played by Nuttall and Hugh Everett are perfectly played.
whips away our collective comfort blanket, a world where the sun never seems to shine. Bad
productions just aren’t in this man’s DNA, are they?
contemporary feel it also remains faithful to it.
for me was how people reacted to The Creature, for me that was the truly monstrous thing.
These are interesting times at the Garrick Playhouse in the leafy south Manchester suburb of Altrincham. Under the aegis of Artistic Director Joseph Meighan, their programming is broadening its appeal beyond the traditional light comedy and murder mystery, into edgier and darker territory. So, we find 2022 kicking off with an absolutely cracking adaptation of the Mary Shelley gothic masterpiece, both chilling and thought provoking and with a simply stunning central performance.
Those patrons expecting a hoary old ‘Boris Karloff with a bolt through the neck’ rendition, would have been disappointed. With Direction and Set Design in the capable hands of Barry J C Purves, this was always going to be a more delicate study on the nature of humanity. By using Nick Dear’s 2011 National Theatre adaptation of the Shelley novel, placing The Creature (Rhys Nuttall) at the centre of the story gave both pace and arc to the two-hour production, dispensing with the unnecessary backstory of the creator.
As the story progresses, we observe the best and worst of mankind. The Creature encounters both hostility and kindness wandering through the world, searching first for the answer to the question ‘Who am I?’, morphing into his quest to find his creator and create a companion in his loneliness. The scenes with De Lacey (Hugh Everett), a blind peasant who teaches The Creature to read and showing him the only warmth he encounters, are delicate and tender and his development towards humanity serves to make later scenes involving both murder and rape all the more compelling.
An issue with such a strong central performance was that the parallel story of Victor Frankenstein was somewhat overshadowed in the narrative, with Cunningham needing more obsessional madness in his performance to match the physicality and dominance of Nuttall. In the same way Cumberbatch/Miller found in the original NT production, doing this allows the relationship with his fiancé Elizabeth (Amy Lou Harris) to take a more prominent part in the latter story and provide some balance. Victor Frankenstein’s story is a sorry tale of how single-minded passion can fatally cloud judgment and the play asks us whether a person is innately good or evil, or is it society which dictates our character and actions.
Overall, an ambitious and successful realisation of an excellent adaptation, lifted to another level by a superb performance from Nuttall as The Creature. Amateur theatre of the very highest quality
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★
Frankenstein does raise a lot of questions – what is it that defines good and evil? Is someone born evil, or is it something that society makes them? And ultimately what are the consequences of our actions? The production serves as a reminder that we shouldn’t tamper with things and let them be.
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