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The manmade monster comes to life once again in the slimmed down UK premiere of Mel Brooks’ musical adaptation of his 1974 spoof comedy horror film which sends Frederick Frankenstein from the lecture theatre of Anthony and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to a Gothic castle in Transylvania when he inherits his late grandfather’s estate.

Leaving behind the frustratingly chaste fiancée who doesn’t seem to want him anywhere near her before they’ve tied the knot, Hadley Fraser’s Frederick sets off - on the Queen Mary Shelley - to  sort out his inheritance. Once there, he teams up with hunchback servant Igor (comedian Ross Noble, bent double) and confronts Lesley Joseph’s stern housekeeper who had a thing going with his deceased grandpa (the mere mention of her name scares the horses in one of several running gags). And then there’s Summer Strallen’s yodelling, long-legged, sexually voracious Inga who becomes his assistant in more ways than one and demonstrates her versatility by simultaneously singing and doing the splits. 

It’s all completely ridiculous and enormously energetic. The humour is a long way from subtle – you’ll love it if “walk this way” jokes, politically incorrect double entendres and a brain squelched underfoot tickle your funny bone. But for  me (and, surprisingly, for my companion who’s taste usually differs wildly from mine) the stand out number involves Shuler Hensley’s lumbering, green-faced Monster leading an extended dance sequence to “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” an inspired pastiche showcasing the flair which has won director and choreographer Susan Stroman a handful of awards.

Garrick, Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HH

Tube: Leicester Square

Until 29th September 2018   

£20.00 -  £74.50 + premium seats



Theatre Review: Young Frankenstein
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