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Preview: Frankenstein at Newcastle Peoples Theatre

by Nick Dear, based on the novel by Mary Shelley
Newcastle Peoples Theatre
Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 May 2019

Mary Shelley’s celebrated gothic novel Frankenstein may be over 200 years old, but her mythic fable of an obsessive scientist and his tragic creation has lost none of its power or appeal.

This humane and intelligent adaptation by Nick Dear took the National Theatre by storm when it was unleashed in 2011 starring Benedict Cumberbatch and we are delighted to stage the North East premiere.

For their production this week, Mark Danbury has created the Creature make-up and prosthetics. Starting with a discussion between Mark, Brian Green (director) and actor Colin Jeffrey, their jumping off point was the fact that Dear uses the term ‘The Creature’ in his playtext, not ‘Monster’ as in Shelley’s novel. He humanises him, and so they drew from Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of Vitruvian man, a perfectly proportioned human, a new Adam.

The make-up and prosthetics – which on first run-through took over two hours to apply but will get quicker! - reflects this image of something perfect but gone wrong. This is no zombie lookalike with bolts through the neck, but a shot at human perfection. The beautiful and the terrible in co-existence.

The team work hard to blend the prosthetics on the face, neck, chest and back into the skin, painstakingly creating bruising, blood and sutures, so the audience can never forget that there is a living, breathing human beneath the terrible visage.

Mark comments “We hope to help give the Creature a more realistic yet sympathetic look. My design uses small, delicate prosthetic appliances to show the medical work of Victor Frankenstein. I’m using the latest materials and techniques to help prolong the life of the make-up through what is a very physical performance by Colin.”

Photos by Paula Smart

Tickets:      £14 (Concessions £11.50)
Box office: 0191 265 5020 -

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