Theatre Review: Frankenstein

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Presented by Adelaide Repertory Theatre aka The Rep)
Reviewed 5 April 2018

This play, by Nick Dear from a famous story by Mary Shelley, was originally performed with a very distinguished cast by the National Theatre, London and received rave reviews. With players like Benedict Cumerbatch and Johnny Lee Miller playing the lead roles (and switching every night) that was hardly surprising. This production, although valiant, does not come close.

Director Kerrin White has assembled a good cast; Steven Parker is stunning as the Creature and handles the many difficult changes with skill. The other players such as Tom Carney, Brad Martin, Tarsha Cameron and Rosie Williams provide good support. Patrick Clements in the title role of Frankenstein has some fine moments but is out acted by Parker.

After a promising start with good lighting (by Jason Groves) and sound (by Brendan Taggart), the production loses its way. The set is clumsy and does little to help the actors. The use of projections is confusing as is some of the direction. There are moments of good theatre, like the opening of the second act, but it is not sustained.

There is some redemption in performances: Charlie Zorkovik is convincing as Frankenstein’s son, William, and Rosie Williams is charming as Elizabeth. Dylan O’Donnell and Brad Martin do a fine job as Highlanders; I particularly liked Martin’s Scots accent. Most of this production lacked the drama of the original book.

Without the technical capabilities of a professional company like the National Theatre this is a hard play to attempt and this production lacks the atmosphere it needs.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Arts Theatre Angas St.
Season: 5-14 Apr 2018
Duration: 2hr
Tickets: $22 Conc $17
Bookings: www.adelaiderep.com

 

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