Frankenstein (Fringe Management and Canny Creatures Scotland)
3rd-29th August, 14:30
Gilded Balloon Teviot – Wine Bar
It would be hard to find many people who are not familiar with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, at least its basic storyline. Fringe Management and Canny Creatures bring a new play to the fringe this year, written by Susannah Cavill and inspired by Shelley’s novel.
Cavill’s adaptation begins after Frankenstein has already created the creature and follows what happens from then onwards. Whilst the actual writing was perfectly fine, there were too many scene changes, with the character Justine coming on stage for what was basically two lines before leaving again. Although small bits like that were nice and added to the show, it just felt very jumpy in a lot of places due to this.
Technically it was a very nice performance. The original score by Roi Robertson was perfect for Frankenstein, particularly the pre-show piece which made appearances again during the show. The music and sound design really added to the atmosphere of the show. Similarly, the use of a projector on the back of the stage, visually designed by Adam Cavill was a nice touch because it helped scene transitions a lot considering the lack of set.
Michael Roy Andrew as Victor Frankenstein and Gerry Kielty as Henry stood out in the cast of six. Their relationship, seen a lot in the play, was particularly nice, especially the contrast between Henry’s clear love for Elizabeth and Victor’s distracted and uncaring appearance. However, Nigel Miles-Thomas as the Creature seemed as though he felt quite uncomfortable in the role and as though he didn’t actually mean anything he was doing. That being said, certain parts of his performance were nice, and he was by no means the only one who didn’t have much intention behind his actions. Most of the actors on stage had at least one moment when they seemed slightly uncomfortable.
Frankenstein is a story many different people have attempted to adapt into something slightly different, and whilst sometimes it does pay off, this adaptation wasn’t for me. Nevertheless, it did have its moments and they shouldn’t be overlooked either.