Frankenstein, Living Spit at the Tropicana

playsfrankspit3YOU might call it Frankenstein – the Tribute Show, but whatever the title it’s monstrously entertaining.

When Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin turn their extravagant talents to a story, the audience can be certain of fun and invention, and in this co-production with Salisbury Playhouse there is much more – a multi-talented live band, puppets and a degree of comical nudity as our heroes deconstruct and reconstruct the story of Mary Shelley’s famous monster.

Frankenstein Production Photos Photo Credit: Richard Davenport for The Other Richard 07545642134

We knew that two new musicals – Julian Fellowes’ Wind in the Willows and Bristol Old Vic’s Grinning Man – were on the cards for late October, but the Living Spitting Frank crept up unawares, and probably has the most memorable music of all. That’s because it’s a brilliant pastiche of a large number of popular genres, toe-tapping, hand-clapping singalonga stuff, played by the versatile Rebekah Hughes, Tom Knott, Lauryn Redding and Mike Slader.

playsfrankspit4Let’s have a quick look at the story.

Victor Frankenstein, a teenager whose grizzled looks belie his tender years, is a brilliant student who must hone his talents at university. At home in Geneva, he is in love with his adopted sister Elizabeth, but his mother’s penultimate dying wish is for his academic advancement, so he leaves to study, taking with him a pet hamster given by his younger brother.

playfrankspitBereft at the loss of his mother, the final straw comes when the hamster croaks, and Victor is determined to harness his lightning learning to revitalise corpses.

He makes a monster.

You know the rest.

Or do you?

playsfrankspit2Now is the time for a serious and insightful discussion into the nature of father/son relationships and the need for loving, supportive and strong role modelling.

The story progresses though scenes of sheer horror and ghastliness – but we won’t embarrass Stu by going into those!

If it’s a bit self indulgent at times, what Living Spit show would be a Living Spit show without the odd haphazard moment. Both Howard and Stu make the most of fronting a live band in tru rock god style, and have surprisingly good mastery of the various styles – soul, country, big show love ballad and more.

Frankenstein is onat the Tropicana in Weston Super Mare from 12th to 20th November, is a brilliant re-imagining of the imaginings of Mary Shelley, and fun for all the family, though you might want to be aware there is a bit of swearing and a lot of taking clothes off.


Photographs by The Other Richard

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