Frankenstein a monster success

FRANKENSTEIN S Creature tottered and howled again at the Kenneth More Theatre last week, courtesy of Stage One Theatre Company s assured production of a new musical based on Mary Shelley s acclaimed work. We have seen the monster on the Ilford stage in ma

FRANKENSTEIN'S Creature tottered and howled again at the Kenneth More Theatre last week, courtesy of Stage One Theatre Company's assured production of a new musical based on Mary Shelley's acclaimed work.

We have seen the monster on the Ilford stage in many guises, but this was a compelling new take on the tale we know so well.

Billed as the official London premiere of the show by Jeffrey Jackson and Mark Baron, the production made the most of some beautiful music and haunting lyrics.

The piece was directed with assurance and flair by Jai Sepple, who also played the Creature with great sensitivity and a compelling air of trauma. This was a very nuanced performance that opened up the Creature's mind to us and made us sympathise, despite its hideous deformities (conveyed by some terrific prosthetics designed by Stuart Bray at earnprostheticmakeup.com).


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Thanks to built-up shoes, Jai's Creature really loomed over the production in a menacing way. But this was a very "human'' portrayal of a tormented creation caught between the living and the dead.

Keir Ramshaw was excellent as the tortured scientist who unleashes the murderous Creature on the world, and Georgia Permutt was in characteristic fine form as his beloved Elizabeth. Their duets, though complicated, were beautifully executed and very affecting.

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Harri Sepple, who also contributed some stylish choreography, was good as Justine Moritz, the nanny to Frankenstein's ill-fated young brother William, played with flair and a confidence well beyond his years by Matthew Slade.

Lee Pierson was touching as Frankenstein's doting father and Paul Sparrowham gave a good cameo as Captain Walton.

Darren Matthews, who has given a number of acclaimed performances at the KMT, was the man with the baton in the orchestra pit and he took his players seamlessly from ballad to heaving rock number and back again.

The whole production was made even more impressive with the use of a projected backdrop designed by Jai Sepple and Terry Perkins - a video of heavy seas was particularly effective.

Overall, an excellent show. And if the audience reaction was anything to go by, one that was very well received.

- SUE LEEMAN

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