REVIEW: Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein at the Garrick Theatre
| By Harrison Fuller
Mel Brooks' musical Young Frankenstein, based on the film of the same name, has opened at the Garrick Theatre. Anyone familiar with Brooks' work will enter the theatre with a level of expectation and, boy, you won't be disappointed.
From start to finish the show is a madcap melee of fun and wit. From the opening patter song to the ingenious rendition of Putting on the Ritz, the show is packed with jokes and innuendo and just keeps on giving(!)
The basic story is the familiar tale of Frankenstein, but Brooks has found a way to subvert it at every opportunity. Instead of telling the original story, we meet the infamous Frankenstein's grandson as he inherits the castle in Transylvania. Add in housekeeper Blucher (mind the horses) played by Lesley Joseph and hunch hopping henchman Igor (Ross Noble) and you have yourself a recipe to inject life into anyone, dead or alive.
Susan Stroman directs and choreographs the piece, following on from her success with The Producers on Broadway, in the West End and on film. She has a profound understanding of the rhythm and humour of Brooks' writing and takes every opportunity to exploit the verbal and physical comedy. The whole show, daft and self-deprecating and aware as it is at times, is a joy. As an audience, you are invited to sit back and laugh for two hours as you are taken on the journey of Young Frankenstein. Leaving the theatre, tunes will be stuck in your head and the odd line will flutter to the surface of your thoughts and make you smile or laugh.
Mel Brooks is a master craftsman and Young Frankenstein is nothing short of a masterpiece. This sympathetic adaptation will delight fans of the movie, having a nostalgic feel yet feeling fresh and modern at the same time. Get your ticket to Transylvania (I mean the Garrick Theatre) and enjoy!