By: Christy Lawrance
The 200-year old story of Frankenstein - a chilling warning against 'playing god' - gets an atmospheric recreation at London's Space theatre. Written by Isabel Dixon and directed by Katherine Timms, this time round, both Dr Frankenstein and the Creature are female, but the play stays mainly true to the original story and the gender swap feels seamless.
Dr Elizabeth Frankenstein manages the unthinkable - creating sentient life - only to reject her monstrous creation. She is cast out into an uncaring, violent world, where she experiences further rejection by those who see her. Murder and horror follow, and Dr Frankenstein aims to flee and then destroy her creation.
The ensemble performance sees many roles taken by the five actors, who adeptly employ puppetry, mime and music.
The Creature, magnificently portrayed by Elizabeth Schenk, displays raw, tearing emotion, with painful howling and powerful physical moves. Her wild appearance in torn clothing, with bloodied, dirty skin, evokes repulsion and pity. Charlotte Peak and Sarah Lawrie sing beautifully. There are fine performances from Carlton Venn and Danielle Winter.
The tense atmosphere is ably supported by an effective use of the theatre's setting in a former church and setting the production in the round. The space is used sensitively to display the chilly distance of the Arctic sea - and to emphasis the horror in one of the plays truly shocking moments.
A gothic, attention-grabbing production - you'll appreciate a drink in the upstairs bar afterwards.
Frankenstein is on at The Space Theatre, Westferry Road, London, E14 3RS until 10 March. It starts at 7.30pm and runs for 90 minutes https://space.org.uk/
You may be able to join Q&A session with the actors and director after the show
It is a Burn Bright Theatre Production www.burnbrighttheatre.com/
How to get there. There is on-site car parking (with free street parking evenings and weekends). Bus 277 stops outside the theatre. Canary Wharf and Mudchute stations are nearby