Frankenstein at the Richmond Theatre

A simply stunning adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein by award winning writer Rona Munro. A real treat and pleasant surprise to see such a high quality work touring the UK.

The magic starts almost immediately, when the Scottish actress playing the 18 year old writer Mary Shelley starts her opening monologue in direct communication with the audience. Eilidh Loan was performing in her professional debut having only recently left drama school and is a similar age to the writer.

The other connection is Loan is also a writer. This clearly helped her connect with the role in a way that made her performance stand out. She connected so deeply with the lead character that she brought home the reality of an 18 year old writing this complex and now legendary story of the creation of a monster of a human being.

The play takes us on a journey of the writer from a blank sheet of paper as she first starts with the idea, moves on to create the characters who perform her thoughts, then pause, as the writer hits a mental block. The roller coaster of writing, matched with the evolving story unravelling in front of us, is complex to write, but so effective in it's delivery. 

I was delighted to see so many other Scots actors and hear their accents too, a rare treat in this part of the world. I was quite proud realising the full talent being leaps and bounds above a lot of the plays I see in London. 

I don't think I'm biased but go see for yourself, and you'll enjoy the experience of a powerful adaptation coming to life, as well as a monster of course. 

Frankenstein is in Richmond Theatre until Saturday 23rd November 2019, then off to Glasgow next week.

Douglas McFarlane is founder of UK Theatre Network and a London reviewer.