If you’re looking for a good night out this week, head to Norwich Playhouse to see Young Frankenstein, on until Saturday 3rd June.
Based on the 1974 cult classic musical comedy film written by Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder, the story follows Frederick Frankenstein, grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, who has inherited his grandfather’s estate.
With the help of hunchbacked sidekick Igor and charming lab assistant Inga, Frederick finds himself stepping into the mad scientist’s shoes of his ancestors as he brings a creature to life. Naturally, the ‘monster’ escapes, and further hilarity abounds.
Delivered by the Threshold Theatre Company, a Norwich-based multi award-winning Musical Theatre Company, this was one of the slickest opening night performances we may have ever seen. Amateur theatre group? Pah – we certainly saw no sign of anything amateur in sight.
What we did see was a big cast (a talented cast of 20, with a team of another 20 volunteers backstage/behind the scenes), and a show that is packed with incredible costumes, songs, and choreography that Strictly would be jealous of. The musical numbers are big and pitch perfect. You can definitely see the affiliation to the long-established Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society being put to good use.
Over everything though, this show is funny. With a capital F for Frankenstein. It’s a mix of cheeky humour (in a Carry-On-meets-Rocky-Horror vein), hilarious slap-stick and heart-warming amusement that had a man behind us guffaw-ing loudly and had us chuckling throughout.
The role of Frederick Frankenstein is played by Joseph Betts, who describes the show as a “madcap musical comedy – completely timeless and the perfect parody. Just as you’ve finished laughing, there’ll be another joke to completely knock you over. There are several musical show-stoppers, but nothing brings the razzle-dazzle like the tap routine to Irving Berlin’s ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’.”
We certainly concur. This show is absolute joy, with an edge. Imagine Shrek for adults (the show is suitable for 13 years +, but do expect a few swears, scares and…ahem… anatomical references…).
Over the course of about two hours, we fell for the whole cast, but not least the great big green Creature who proves that anyone can inspire love.
You’ll be the one feeling ‘alive’ after watching this electrifying treat of a musical comedy.
Young Frankenstein is at Norwich Theatre Playhouse from 30 May – 3 Jun. For more information or to book, please go to norwichtheatre.org or call the Box Office on 01603 630 000.