Wilton’s Music Hall
Opening Night – 8th March 2017
“the performance is full of energy, at times it feels almost like you are watching a ballet”
If you need to create a spooky Gothic atmosphere then there’s nowhere quite like Wilton’s. A haunting, dimly lit stage, eerie sounds and a haze drifting down into the auditorium. Shivers run down your spine before the performance even starts.
Two people appear on stage, one we soon discover is The Creature (George Fletcher) and the other (Rowena Lennon), we’re left unsure exactly who or what she is. The story starts with a recording, after which we relive the moment that Frankenstein’s creation is galvanised into life. Like a human child, we then witness how the being learns to talk, move and worryingly, start to feel emotion.
The creature in the novel (and in the narrative of this play) is described as a hideous huge beast; George Fletcher who plays the role is neither of those, he’s handsome and of quite normal stature, so at times it’s hard to see him as the grotesque monster he’s portraying. But he does an incredibly good job, his performance is full of energy, at times it feels almost like you are watching a ballet by the way he fills the whole stage with movement. A credit to Movement Director, Tom Jackson Greaves.
Rowena Lennon arguable has a more difficult role to play. She’s billed as ‘The Chorus’ yet appears to not only act out some of the minor parts, but also provide everything from sound effects to creating some moody lighting with the aid of a deftly manoeuvred ‘filament bulb on a stick’ (there’s probably a much better description for that, but you get the idea!).
Next year sees the 200th anniversary of the first publication of Mary Shelley’s novel and it’s seen many an interpretation during the last two centuries. This adaptation (by Tristan Bernays) is fairly true to the original story, but done as it is in near monologue form, makes it an original twist and a delight to watch.
It’s not particularly scary, but it doesn’t need to. This isn’t necessarily a horror story, it’s an emotional tale of a living being, desperate for companionship but with a savage brutality lurking within. Wonderful lighting design (Lawrence T Doyle) in a splendid location combined with a delightfully energetic cast, make this one to watch.
is at Wilton’s Music Hall until 18th March
Production photography by Philip Tull
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