If you thought you knew the story of ‘Frankenstein’, then you needed to think again after seeing Foot of the Barrel’s production of Mary Shelley’s classic story in June.
Shane Gough directed this version of Nick Dear’s adaptation of the Gothic horror/science fiction novel, first performed in 2011 with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Unlike Shelley’s original and countless filmed versions since, it told the story from the perspective of the Creature and not his creator, Dr Victor Frankenstein. The doctor abandons his creation soon after a gripping opening scene when the Creature, superbly played by Nick Knipe, comes to stumbling life alone on the stage over several minutes.
Knipe’s portrayal made the audience totally sympathise with the Creature’s plight, thrown out into the world by his creator, then shunned and mistreated by almost everyone he meets. A quick learner who develops desires and needs of his own, he eventually seeks out Frankenstein to wreak revenge on the doctor and his family in a thought-provoking look at the consequences of when man tries to play the part of a god.
The rest of the cast, led by Finn Ella as Frankenstein, also excelled in the latest of a string of highly successful productions from Foot of the Barrel. Keep your eyes peeled for a production of Scrooge in December.
Review by Tim Oscroft