Tuesday, 22 March 2011


To be honest I'm not sure if this is the right place to be reviewing this. Does it qualify as a film? Does it qualify as a television movie? What was it? Well, you get an audience of 12,000 people to turn up (free tickets) dressed as wedding guests at the magnificent ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, Leeds, Yorkshire and then you stage a live production of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein complete with musical numbers and then you transmit it live on BBC3. Nah, it couldn't work - but against all odds it did. The plot remains faithful to the original novel - with a few justified twists. Frankenstein's dad is a nouveau rich, gruff, Yorkshire business man (Mark Williams) who is laying on a big society wedding for his scientist son Victor (Andrew Gower) and his bride (the lovely and talented Lacey Turner- a million miles from EASTENDERS) not knowing that Victor has a dark secret. With some atmospheric filmed flashbacks the production is both imaginative and enthralling. The only fault I could find is the inclusion of some truly mundane, unimaginative and indifferently performed musical numbers that really were not needed. I've saved the best for last and that is the ever excellent David Harewood as the Monster - both sympathetc and threatening at the same time. Now if only the National Theatre can be persuaded to release a DVD of it's FRANKENSTEIN with Benedict Cumberbatch - it's been recorded so why no DVD?

Kirkstall Abbey

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