A tense and atmospheric production of Mary Shelley's classic
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein has found its way to the stage many times, not to mention its film interpretations, and this production by Canny Creatures Scotland is lifted above the majority thanks to fine ensemble performances and an atmospheric soundscape. Emphasising the plot over the motivations of the famous mad scientist, Canny Creatures conjure a dynamic variation on the theme of human hubris.
In seeking to bring life back from the dead, Victor Frankenstein has created a monster. Casting the poor creature out, his creation drives him to the brink of madness and even to the very ends of the earth.
With the play beginning with the monster already being created, the story does dive into the action a little quickly with limited explanation, ignoring the novel's philosophical pondering. However, with effective sound producing a brooding sense of doom, the story is framed by a dark and sinister atmosphere.
As with Canny Creatures' sister show, The Elephant Man, the star turn here is by Michael Roy Andrew as the tortured Dr Frankenstein, though the entire cast are strong. Exposing the sadness at the heart of the horror, there is, conversely, a sense of joy within the tragedy that comes from the creepy, unnatural air and the direction's tense and exciting pacing.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, until 29 Aug, 2.30pm, £10.50--£13 (£8–£10).