Stitched Up, Broken Holmes Productions – theSpace @ Venue 45
**** (4 Stars)
Victor Frankenstein is recovering after his mental breakdown following the creation of his monster and with the benefit of hindsight, he sees that he was definitely stitched up. This comic take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein presents the young doctor considering his actions, pointing out plot holes in the original text and expressing disgust for the multiple films that followed the initial tale. He and his monster creation argue over the value of human life, though there is never much thoughtful consideration into this philosophy, this play focuses instead on the surreal disputes between Frankenstein, his professor and his creations.
Robin Johnson’s take on the classic tale borders on the ridiculous as the main characters re-tell their stories with venom in their voices. It is surreal but entertaining to see Frankenstein and his monster arguing about petty things such as whether or not the creator screamed ‘IT’S ALIVE!’ at the moment of the monster’s creation as he does in so many cinematic productions following the classic text.
Language is used cleverly throughout, Frankenstein in particular makes the excuse that he’s not a madman, he is only ‘at the extreme end of sanity’. The performances are solid and enthusiastic which makes the audience feel for the monster who expresses his sadness at being rejected by society (though with less anger than in the novel) and by his creator. The introduction of the bride, Frankenstein’s second creation, brings in another layer of plot as she expresses her anger at having not being brought to life in the novel while she has a place in the films. Completely ridiculous, but completely entertaining, the monsters debate the meaning of their existence.
It seems that the trick to appreciating this play is in forgetting about the rules of time and sense; simply take this production for what it is, a highly amusing gentle satire about the legend of Frankenstein and the awful spin-offs that have appeared in the years after Shelley’s classic.
theSpaces @ Venue 45, running until 28th August, 9.40pm. Full price £8 concession £6.