I’m currently five visits in at Young Frankenstein, and it’s only been housed at London’s Garrick theatre since late September 2017. You might be wondering why I have such ‘Deep Love’ for this show and questioning what keeps me going back? So I figured I’d blog about it!
For those who may not know, it’s based on the Mel Brooks film of the same name. Unlike (I assume) a vast number of the audience, it wasn’t a film that I grew up with. In fact, I hadn’t even really heard of it until the show was announced to be coming to London; 10 years after it’s Broadway run.
Therefore, it was more the casting that urged me to purchase a ticket because it’s no secret that I think Dianne Pilkington is brilliant in everything she does. However, I was equally intrigued and excited by the rest of the cast, as it mixed theatre icons with a couple of known celebrity names.
I made my first visit on one of the final previews, and I paid a slightly hefty price for my ticket months in advance to ensure I had a great seat for the first viewing and it was certainly worth it; and I fell in love so fast that I returned two weeks later!
If like me, you were not aware of the story; the premise of the show is that Dean of Anatomy, Frederick Frankenstein (or Fronkensteen, as he prefers), is called upon to reclaim his Grandfather’s Transylvania castle. When he arrives, he meets sidekick Igor who tries to convince him to follow in his Grandfathers footsteps of experiments in bringing the dead back to life…
While the plot is pretty simple, and ultimately silly; it’s unadulterated fun and an absolute belly laugh. And that’s the plain and simple reason of why I keep going back. It’s a place for me to leave my troubles at the door, and just sit back, and have a face that hurts from laughing for two hours straight!
In truth it actually isn’t the type of show I’d expect to fall in love with so deeply, but I firmly believe that laughter is the best medicine and to have that in my life at this time is important. The show has become a light in my dark; while I’m not saying it cures my woes, it certainly softens the blows and gives me a motivation. In learning to accept and love my own company too, it gives me challenges to power through my anxieties and in turn it’s meant I’ve met some great people.
You may be thinking “but you know the jokes, surely it can’t still be THAT funny?” but you’re wrong. Every single show feels different. You begin to notice subtle little changes in the way the cast deliver a line, casts change due to illness/holiday/departures (I’ve already seen two Elizabeth’s, two Monsters and the next visit will mark a new Igor), you feed off the audiences reactions (or sometimes the company I’m with, if I manage to convince a friend to tag along), you meet new people and even the simplicity of being in a different seat can cause you to notice something new. It always feels fresh and exciting.
The other reason is the cast. As I mentioned earlier, that’s how I ended up there in the first place and they truly do not disappoint. Each time, I find myself laughing that little bit harder and being a touch more in awe of their talents.
While it’s pretty clear Elizabeth Benning is my favourite character (I suppose my slightly biased opinion of adoring Dianne Pilkington helps with that) but while she may technically a supporting character, her absolute madcap and exaggerated confident persona is secretly the type of character I always fall for (even when you’re not sure if you should) and even though there are few, her scenes are certainly some of the most memorable.
However love of ‘Liz aside, each character has such a strong quality and purpose that you truly find yourself loving them all for their own ridiculous quirks; and the way the cast play them is just so joyful to watch. Not only that, but off-stage they are a delight too. I’ve met a majority of the leads at least once, and they often have time for a quick chat and are genuinely grateful for the support. Though if I haven’t caught them there, they at least tend to acknowledge fans on their social media and it’s really lovely.
(That said, I can only apologise to them for having to put up with this face so often!)
Not only that, but the Garrick itself is such a snug and cosy but stunning theatre right in the heart of London’s West End, and it just feels like a happy place.
As the finale ditty says “thank you for coming and seeing our show, we’ll see you again when you’ve got some more dough…” and truer words couldn’t be sung because that is certainly what I feel for the show!
To all at Young Frankenstein, thank you for puttin’ on the ritz and giving me all the laughs and smiles. I’ll see you again soon… and if you’re contemplating tickets, don’t hesitate because I’m certain you won’t regret it. (Just make sure you invite me!)
But before I go, here’s a fun little game to end… why not place your guesses of how many trips I’ll have made by the end of the run/cast change in September? I genuinely have no idea; I set a goal of 10 but I’m already half way there with 7 months to go! I figured it would be fun to look back on and see who was closest and how much the Transylvania Mania hits me…
♥ MOLLY THE BLOGGER ♥