Review: Young Frankenstein

Cinematic adaptions of famous books are often viewed critically, as it is claimed they can never live up to the original. Therefore, it is a smart artistic decision to alter the adaption so it can almost be viewed as a sequel. This is also the case for the musical “Young Frankenstein”, which is a parody based on Mary Shelley’s gothic novel “Frankenstein or the modern Prometheus”. Written by Mel Brooks and directed by Derek Anderson, this musical has a modern, as well as comedic take on the original.

It follows the biology professor Frederick Frankenstein, Victor Frankenstein’s grandson and only heir of the original monster’s creator. Young Frankenstein visits Victor’s mansion after the latter’s death. There, he finds Victor’s book on how he created the monster and is encouraged to follow after him and improve his work with the help of his servant Igor, his new assistant Inga and  Frau Blücher, Victor’s girlfriend. Unfortunately, his creation turns out overly aggressive and violent, but unlike the Transylvanians, Frederick doesn’t try to kill it and rather wants to transfer his own intelligence. After this mission succeeds, the monster becomes human-like and finally finds love.

In my opinion, this musical is a great option for class excursions, because the modern take on the original story is more youth-friendly than the book, as it also contains many comedic passages. This might also encourage some students to end up reading the novel by Mary Shelley. Furthermore, the costumes, created by the designer Olivia Ward, are very appealing and well-thought out, as they represent the characters and support the feeling of the scenes. The theatre also presents this play with great support of lighting and binaural sound effects, which make some scenes even more dramatic than with just the musical ensemble under direction of Mal Hall.

Unfortunately, sometimes the musical goes too far off the original and might give some students the wrong idea of the book. In addition, the performance included many characters, some of which seemed rather unconvincing at times, for example Frederick’s fiancé. Furthermore, the risk of going to a theatre with such a large and diverse audience must be considered, especially during vulnerable times of Covid-19 like these.

However, under consideration of all aspects mentioned, I believe it is a good idea to visit the musical “Young Frankenstein”

Mathilda Büchter, 9B.

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