Victor Frankenstein -
Elizabeth Lavenza -
The Creature -
Alphonse Frankenstein -
Written by -
Frankenstein's Wedding...Live In Leeds - first transmitted 19th March 2011
Mary Shelley Wollstonecraft's gothic horror tale is one of the first true classics of the science fiction genre and in these days of genetic engineering, the themes that it deals in are more relevant than ever, perhaps that is why it has always been so popular and why it has received so many adaptations over the century or so since it was first published.
This, though, must rank as one of the most ambitious adaptations ever attempted. FRANKENSTEIN'S WEDDING...LIVE IN LEEDS was a live performance melding live acting, filmed segments, singing, dancing and even audience participation into a unique retelling of the story. Only the BBC could ever have thought to attempt something like this and we would like to put it forward as evidence of the need to keep the licence fee because FRANKENSTEIN'S WEDDING...LIVE IN LEEDS, whilst not perfect, was a resounding success.
Despite the disparate media being used to tell the story, the innate power and tragedy is completely captured and the event for the television audience becomes more and more compelling as it progresses.
Key to this is the performance from David Harewood as the creature. Disfigured by clever and not overdone makeup, he captures the danger and threat of the creature, but not before the tragedy and pathos that makes the character as much a victim as those that he kills. His central showing is strong enough to carry the whole show and cast the necessary sense of oncoming doom.
The rest of the cast do well also, though Andrew Gower's nervy, paranoid Victor takes a while to warm to and Lacey Turner's best moments come right at the end. Mark Williams provides the light entertainment and Jemima Rooper certainly looks like she's enjoying herself immensely.
The nature of the event means that it is stagey, but the production team make the most of their Leeds landmarks and by the end, the story has completely taken over and the medium that is delivering it has become of little importance, which is how it should always be.
Events like this don't come along all that often and they should be welcomed when they do, especially when they are as good as this.Top
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