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Updated: May 3

imitating the dog, after Mary Shelley

imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse

The Lowry, Salford

March 12-14, 2024

(also Cast, Doncaster March 27-28; Liverpool Playhouse April 17-20, Duke Lancaster April 24-27, Northern Stage, Newcastle, April 30-May 2)

Bedroom gymnastics: Georgia Mae-Myers and Nedum Okonyia in Frankenstein.
Bedroom gymnastics: Georgia Mae-Myers and Nedum Okonyia in Frankenstein.

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A question: if you have no idea about why or where a play is going but it holds you desperately close to its heart, is it a good play?

I asked the question to the two people sitting alongside me. One felt the same as me: yes it is. The other thought the directors, for there are three of them, had two plays that didn't make a whole play and put the two together.

The latter view was a little bolstered by the comments of the directors that the play "appeared out of the fog of the problem solving". Andrew Quick, Pete Brooks and Simon Wainwright have a production that uses two actors to play all the roles in a domestic drama about two young people having a baby, yoked together with Mary Shelley's Gothic novel about the creation and destruction of a sort of big baby. See the connection?

The first stage production of Frankenstein came only five years after it was written, in 1818. Adapter Richard Brinsley Peake would have recognised and applauded the boldness of this production.

As is often the case with imitating the dog, the effects team deserves front billing. Andrew Crofts, Davi Calllanan and James Hamilton use the full wonders of the Lowry stage to produce a majestic play. Full of snow, sound and fury, audience members were cowering in their seat during the storms.

Having said this, the two actors – Georgia Mae-Myers and Nedum Okonyia – are the real stars. One is a tyro, recently graduated from acting school, the other well known in the thatre world. Together they move seamlessly between the two worlds of the drama - 19th Century sailing ships in an icy environment on the one hand, and an ordinary home with a baby due in 100 days.

In addition to good acting, the pair are superb gymnasts; so much so I was cringing at the effort they showed – effortlessly. Having recently seen Andrew Scott playing all the characters in a Chekhov play, these two ran him close in their ability to move seamlessly between scenes.

More info and tickets here


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