"Strong, Passionate, Tense, Sad Drama"
by Cheryl Rowlands for remotegoat on 08/11/18

I had really been looking forward to this production and it did not disappoint. As always, Arnos Vale is a stunning setting for a production such as this, and the atmosphere was electric in this interpretation of Mary Shelley's Gothic horror classic.

I have deliberately decided not to give too much away in this review, as I feel it is a production the reader really needs to go along and watch and experience for him/herself.

A small cast of just three actors played all seven parts between them, and the production ran for 90 minutes with no interval, which, in my humble opinion, was a good decision as it meant that there was no break in the atmosphere and continuity of the story.

The scenes flowed from one to the other with only the benefit of blackouts to give the characters the opportunity to change from one scene to the next. The audience were so captivated and drawn in to the story that they did not applaud at all until the end. To have done so during the performance would have seemed inappropriate, and the audience sat silent and enthralled.

Danann McAleer gave a fine first performance with Red Rope as Victor Frankenstein and he also took the role of Delaney, one of The Monster’s victims. As Frankenstein, he was tense and passionate and brought an intensity to the part throughout.

Lily Maryon played the roles of Elizabeth, young William, and Agatha. “Elizabeth’s line “…. precipience of a bag of rocks” drew a nervous laugh from the audience in an otherwise tense play, however for me, it was her portrayal of the young William and another of The Monster’s victims that I loved.

My overall favourite character was The Monster, played brilliantly by Lois Baldry, a Fred Rope veteran, who also took the role of Justine who was wrongly hanged in a very clever scene. As “The Monster”, she was strong, powerful and intense and her portrayal was absolutely fantastic. The way she threw Frankenstein up against the wall during their confrontation was shocking and scary.

The set was simple with step ladders dressed with ivy and a chest which was used to great effect when The Monster was resurrected. Minimal lighting helped to create the atmosphere and the lighting effects at the beginning I loved the costumes which were period rather than contemporary – something which I personally feel very strongly about when it comes to productions of this kind. The Monster’s costume was very clever and

This wonderful production runs until the 11th November – it is definitely worth going along to watch and I highly recommend it.

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