Young Frankenstein opened in the West End at the Garrick Theatre on the 28th September. It was a show I had been anticipating due to performing some of the numbers a few years ago and I finally managed to see it!
Young Frankenstein is based on Mel Brooks 1974 movie of the same name, a spoof based on horror movie and in particular that of Frankenstein. In Young Frankenstein, the original Frankenstein has died and left his estate to his grandson Frederick Frankenstein. Frederick leaves his fiancé Elizabeth behind and travels from New York to Transylvania to claim his estate. He soon meets Igor and a lab assistant that he has hired named Inga. Despite his initial protests Frederick soon follows in his grandfathers footsteps and sets out to reanimate the dead. It doesn’t all go quite to plan however when the wrong brain is fitted, the monster breaks loose and Elizabeth turns up to surprise Fredrick.
Young Frankenstein really sells itself on its humour and is possibly one of the funniest musicals around in the West End at the moment (hot competition with Book of Mormon). Both the script and the lyrics are witty and bursting with double entendre, none more so than ‘Deep Love’ sung by Elizabeth. The show proceeds to mock itself on many occasions, which just made the set up even funnier.
The cast have got the comedy down brilliantly. I was initially slightly disappointed that the understudy for Summer Strallen who plays Inga was on but I needn’t have worried as the part was in safe hands with Gemma Scholes. Her voice suited the part beautifully and she sung and danced her way into the audiences hearts as quickly as she did into Frederick Frankenstein’s.
Hadley Fraser took on the title role and quickly established himself as a science geek who happened to be able to sing and dance rather well! Lesley Joseph as Frau Bleucher and was my unexpected favourite of the evening. Her acting for the role was comedy perfection and who knew she could sing as well. The rest of the cast were equally as strong with Dianne Pilkington’s voice being the perfect voice to belt out ‘tits’ and Nic Greenshaw as The Monster who was surprisingly light on his feet in ‘Putting on The Ritz.’
The choreography throughout the show is varied and clever. My favourite number in this regards is ‘Putting On The Ritz.’ The dancers tapping in those giant shoes was impressive and showed that just because it was a dance number didn’t mean the comedy would stop.
Occasionally when turning a movie into a musical the songs just serve as a distraction but in the case of Young Frankenstein this is far from the case. Each number is funny for it’s own reason, although ‘Someone’ and the scene that follows it does little to move the plot along had me belly laughing.
Young Frankenstein is a show where every song, movement or line is created to get the audience laughing. Whilst the humour may be unsophisticated and full of entendre it’s a night at the theatre full of laughter and a cast who knows how to play out this comedy to perfection.
Young Frankenstein is currently booking at the Garrick theatre until 29th September 2018. To find out more about Young Frankenstein and book tickets visit their website.