Witness the walking, talking, wailing Frankenstein's Monster in Norwich

Blackeyed Theatre has brought its production of Frankenstein back to the Norwich Playhouse.

Blackeyed Theatre has brought its production of Frankenstein back to the Norwich Playhouse. - Credit: Savannah Photographic

Blackeyed Theatre is no stranger to bringing gothic horror to the stage and it certainly did not disappoint on Monday night at the Norwich Playhouse. 

Its previous works include the chilling tale of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and, since 2017, an adaptation of one of the genre's most famous books - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

The play begins with an older, near-emaciated Victor Frankenstein being rescued by Captain Robert Walton, a failed writer turned explorer.

Captain Walton tells the manic Frankenstein that he would happily risk the lives of his crew if it meant he could fulfil his potential and become a legend of scientific discovery.

Horrified by this, Frankenstein starts to tell his story as a warning of the dangers of blind ambition.

Blackeyed Theatre has brought its production of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein back to the Norwich Playhouse.

Blackeyed Theatre has brought its production of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein back to the Norwich Playhouse. - Credit: Savannah Photographic

The show is incredibly impressive in design and production. The set consists of planks of wood, rope and fabric bolted together into a crooked, haunting structure.

This satisfyingly foreshadows the eventual horrors that will come to pass and helps set an eerie tone from the offset.

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Another strong aspect of the show is the sound design. A mixture of traditional instruments and household objects are played throughout, creating a soundscape that can go from emotive and melodic to scratchy and unnerving within a second.

Naturally, the star of the show is the puppet. There is a good amount of build-up to its reveal, which was a great way of creating tension and anticipation in the audience.

Blackeyed Theatre with its life-sized Frankenstein's Monster puppet. 

Blackeyed Theatre with its life-sized Frankenstein's Monster puppet. - Credit: Savannah Photographic

The puppet stood at 6"4' and was handled by all members of the cast in a rotating chorus, who breathed and spoke in unison.

The fantastic puppetry combined with distinctive vocal tics used by the actor who voiced the Creature made it truly feel like it had been animated - impossibly walking and talking in front of our very eyes.

Once we met Frankenstein's Creation, it was hard to focus on anything else onstage.

Complete with 'breathing' pectoral muscles, moving joints and blinking eyelids, it is a genuine feat of design.

It inspired repulsion in the audience member to my left, while my friend and I were delighted to see it move.

Blackeyed Theatre has pulled off something breathtaking and has managed to properly show the true terror and awe of Frankenstein's Monster.