ACT Reviews 2023-2024 Season

FRANKENTSTEIN Based of the story by Mary Shelley adapted by Rona Munro Directed by Chris Loveless Furness Youth Theatre This was my first visit to a Furness Youth Theatre production since the sad death of their long-time musical director, Paul Bryden. He was a lovely man and a great musician who graced many a society’s orchestra pit: he will be sadly missed. After their last success with ‘Beauty and the Beast’, director Chris loveless has delivered another gem in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The group has a strong core membership, and I must say within the current crop there are some really strong performers. I did wonder as I was driving to the theatre whether Frankenstein, being such a dark tale would be suitable for a Junior Society. I am happy to report it was, and they handled it brilliantly. ‘Frankenstein’ was published in 1816 by 18-year-old Mary Shelley. Over the years it has captured the imagination of generations of horror lovers with numerous adaptations. This version by Rona Munro keeps faith with Mary Shelley’s original vision but with a wonderfully clever idea of having the author herself as the narrator. And who better to play the part than the very talented Maddy Backhouse. She gels the whole play together and keeps it going at pace. I particularly liked her various emotions, from her angst when she has writer’s block to her distain for her creation Victor Frankenstein: a really good performance, well done. Malika Taylor gives a superb performance as Victor Frankenstein, bringing out all her acting skills as the much-troubled monster creator; it was a performance from the top drawer - congratulations.

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