'Frankenstein’ Review

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Rona Munros adaptation of Mary Shelleys Frankenstein has just arrived in Aberdeen and will be on stage at His Majesty Theatre until Saturday 8 February. Thrilling and terrifying like the classic horror novel, it is also a modern and empowering take for many young women. 

The show pays homage to the classic story presenting everything that made the story famousthe themes, the gloomy atmosphere, Dr. Frankenstein, his monster and even a few jump scares. 

Yet, Mary Shelle(Eilidh Loan) is the heart of the show. She is a talented young woman who arguably invented both the horror genre in one fell swoop. She is tormented, frustrated, ambitious, sassy and much moreShe not only writes a groundbreaking piece of literature but also makes peace with her own monsters. By the end, she truly knows her power. Loans character is a constant presence on stage as she directs the other characters, creates them, and, empathises with them. Her performance is striking and simply powerful! 

The supporting cast, including Ben Castle Gibb (Dr. Frankenstein) and Michael Moreland (the monster), match Loans energy and bring the entire show to life! Their portrayals of pain and human desires are brilliant and make for very sympathetic versions of their characters.  

All actors use the set particularly well, especially as they climb up and down tree-like stairs to pass from one story to another. The stage is cleverly organised and serves both outdoor and indoor scenes. The overall pallor of balconies, windows, and trees gives the audience a glimpse of the chilling atmosphere typical of all horrors. 

Simon Slaters music and Grant Andersons lighting also play an important role in bringing life to scenes, with thunderstorms and effective colours. 

Yet, this adaptation of 'Frankenstein' is never overly scary and does not distract from the big themes of time, death, love and prejudice. There are more than a few sarcastic comments towards ambitious men in the show but it also portrays an ambitious woman.  

The 200-year-old story has been interpreted in many ways and Mary Shelleys figure has been approached before. Still, Rona Munros unique adaptation manages to appeal to both admirers of the classic piece of literature and to 21st-century women. 

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