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Brisbane review - Young Frankenstein: independent theatre at its best

By David Wilson


Young Frankenstein

Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan

Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks

Direction by Taylor Andrews

Musical Direction by Kaitlin Evans

Choreography by Jaime O’Donoghue

The Ron Hurley Theatre

April 5 - 13 2024

Tickets starting at $30


Based on the original film by Mel Brooks, this award winning Broadway Musical (West End version) has been delighting audiences since 2007.

The grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, Frederick Frankenstein (pronounced “Fronk-en-steen”) inherits his family’s estate in Transylvania. With the help of a hunchbacked sidekick, Igor (pronounced “Eye-gore”), and a beautiful lab assistant, Inga (pronounced normally!), Frederick finds himself in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestors. Young Frankenstein is a hilarious parody of the well-known horror film genre of the 1930s, and is a fabulously madcap adventure from start to finish.

Millennial Productions has absolutely nailed this production. Equal credit must go to the excellent creative team and to the incredibly talented cast. In terms of independent theatre, it really does not get better than this. The clear direction, sophisticated choreography, quality audio visual effects and some exceptional individual performances were all rewarded with a crisp and tight performance that was flawless.

Zach Price was magnificent as Dr Frederick Frankenstein, brilliantly capturing the characters journey to embracing his inner “stein”! Price is a deservedly confident performer with excellent timing - in many ways the tempo of the performance appears built around Price, which he delivered perfectly. Price’s characterisation and vocals were always on point, and his interplay with Igor, Elizabeth, Inga and Monster throughout were first rate. The tone and standard for the show was set by Price in the opening number ‘The Brain’ which was excellent.

Damien Quick was fabulous as Igor, Dr Frankenstein’s over-eager hunch-backed assistant. Quick’s characterisation was perfect, as was his comedic timing and delivery. I’ve had the benefit of seeing Quick previously in other contrasting roles, which serve to highlight his excellent character work with Igor. A highlight was Quick’s performance with Price of ‘Together Again For The First Time’ which was fantastic. Quick’s Igor was the perfect foil for Frankenstein, well appreciated by the audience.

Amelie Clarke was captivating as Inga, Dr Frankenstein’s willing and eager sexy ‘assistant’ (yes, that’s what they are calling them now!). Clarke embraced the bawdy aspects of the role with full gusto, much to the audiences delight, and her vocal performance was magnificent, especially in ‘Roll In The Hay’.

Emily Rohweder was brilliant as Frau Blucher, the intense and mysterious housekeeper of Castle Frankenstein. Rohweder’s characterisation and comedic timing were brilliant, and her performance of ‘He Vas My Boyfriend’ was an audience favourite.

Samatha Sherrin was outstanding as Elizabeth Benning, Dr Frankenstein’s boisterous, self-centred socialite fiancé. In addition to her amazing vocal performance throughout, Sherrin’s perfectly exaggerated characterisation and confident engagement with the audience reflected a commanding performance.

Dale Shearman literally brought the role of the Monster to life perfectly. Shearman’s ability to communicate clearly, while unable to speak, was a whole of body experience, and Shearman's brilliantly contrasting performance ‘post-transference’ was a pleasure to watch. Shearman’s work in ‘Puttin’ On The Ritz’ was a highlight of the show.

Not only were the six leads of the highest calibre, the entire cast did not have a weak link - a true reflection of the high standards at Millennial Productions. Some of the best moments of the show were the larger, full cast numbers such as ‘Putting’ On The Ritz’, highlighting the depth of quality of the cast and an obvious dedication to achieve high standards in performance.

This is independent theatre at its best, and I encourage you not to miss it!








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