Garrick Theatre, London – until 29 September 2018
Everyone loves the thought of a new musical hitting town but one also written by Mel Brooks can only mean hilarity ensues. Young Frankenstein is testament to that statement.
Dr Frederick Frankenstein (Hadley Fraser) pronounced ‘Fronk-en-steen’ – inherits a castle in Transylvania leading him to fulfil his grandfather’s legacy by bringing a corpse back to life. With help and hindrance from hunchback henchman Igor (Cory English), housekeeper Frau Blücher (Lesley Joseph) and buxom assistant Inga (Summer Strallen), his experiment yields madcap success and monstrous consequences.
The cast led by Fraser open the show, with, of course, a song about ‘The Brain’. This pretty much sets the scene for two and a half hours of silliness and undiluted laugh-out-loud fun. Dianne Pilkington plays uptight fiancé Elizabeth. Her opening number ‘Please Don’t Touch Me’ outlines why she remains so immaculate at all times, especially with her trusty entourage of stylists at her beck and call. Vocals always a strength, it is the characterisation we are also undoubtedly shown here.
Fraser and English’s duet ‘Together Again’ illustrates both of their immense talents as performers and certainly is an audience pleaser. As with other Brooks’ penned musicals, there is, of course, a saucy buxom blond role, played to the hilt by Strallen. Every pore of Strallen oozes talent, showing her family’s musical theatre pedigree to its utmost.
We all know and love Lesley Joseph as being a comedy actress on the small screen, but I for one had underestimated how good her comic timing is. The role of Frau Blücher suits her perfectly and it really is a charm to see her hamming it up to the hilt.
However, the number that will stay in my memory for days, bringing forth a little chuckle as I recall it, is ‘Puttin’ On the Ritz’ led by The Monster (Nic Greenshields). Without doubt, it had the audience howling with laughter and showed the whole cast to be the triple threats we knew them to be. Whenever I hear that song again I will remember The Monster’s take on it for sure.
If you want thoroughly entertaining, which requires no thought, just the ability to laugh, then this is the show for you. A monstrously fun night out!