Saturday, July 13

Frankenstein – The Lowry

imitating the dog’s production of Frankenstein at The Lowry Theatre in Salford attempts a daring fusion of Mary Shelley’s classic gothic tale with the personal journey of a modern couple on the brink of parenthood. While this ambitious endeavour promises a fresh interpretation of a timeless story, the execution ultimately falls short, resulting in a bewildering narrative experience that leaves much to be desired.

The decision to intertwine the lives of the modern couple with the character of Victor Frankenstein proves to be a double-edged sword. On one hand, the juxtaposition of Shelley’s cautionary tale with the intimate struggles of impending parenthood holds promise for a thought-provoking exploration of creation, responsibility, and the human condition. However, in practice, the blending of realities only serves to muddy the waters, leaving audience members grappling with confusion and disconnection.

The lack of clarity in the narrative structure exacerbates this confusion, as the production struggles to maintain coherence between the parallel storylines. Transitions between the modern and traditional narratives are often abrupt and disorienting, making it difficult for the audience to discern the overarching narrative thread. This lack of narrative focus detracts from the emotional resonance of both the couple’s personal journey and the story of Victor Frankenstein, leaving viewers feeling detached from the characters and themes. It didn’t help that the actors didn’t seem to have much chemistry.

Photo: Ed Waring

Adding to the frustration is the decision to have the couple portray the character of Victor Frankenstein, blurring the lines between reality and fiction in a manner that only serves to further confuse audiences. Rather than enhancing the depth and complexity of the narrative, this narrative choice dilutes the impact of both storylines, leaving viewers longing for a clearer delineation between the two elements.

Despite these shortcomings, there are moments of brilliance within the production. The visually stunning presentation, including innovative lighting and digital displays, offers glimpses of the potential that may have been realized with a more focused narrative approach. Additionally, the thematic richness of Mary Shelley’s original tale remains a captivating backdrop, hinting at the depth that could have been achieved with a more cohesive execution.

In conclusion, while imitating the dog’s Frankenstein at The Lowry Theatre in Salford showcases ambition and creativity, the confused narratives and mixed realities ultimately undermine the production’s impact. For those seeking a coherent and immersive theatrical experience, this rendition of Frankenstein may prove to be disappointing.

Frankenstein continues at The Lowry until 14th March. For more information visit https://thelowry.com/whats-on/frankenstein-imitating-the-dog/

Reviewer: Brian Madden

Reviewed: 12th March 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.
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