Socialist Worker

Defend Frankenstein and his monster from the snowflake haters

by Bethan Turner
Issue No. 2597

Shane Zaza as Frankenstein

Shane Zaza as Frankenstein

Readers of Socialist Worker probably aren’t avid readers of The Sun newspaper. If they were they may have seen that a couple of weeks ago it was irate at “snowflake students complaining that Frankenstein’s monster was misunderstood”.

I hope The Sun sent someone to review this play because they would have been apoplectic.

Unlike The Sun, the play’s creators have actually understood the point of Mary Shelley’s novel.

They have created a Frankenstein where the reasons for the monster’s actions are explored, as opposed to just presenting him as a mindless killing machine. The monster is rejected by society and by Frankenstein which leads him to become the monster everyone already thinks he is. It is compellingly and skilfully portrayed.

Call me a snowflake, but I felt pretty sorry for him.

The play also attempts to raise a question that comes up often in science fiction—“just because a scientist can do something, should they?”

As well as keeping to the central point the play pretty much follows the plot of the book. It’s framed using Captain Walton, an explorer searching for the North Pole. He recounts the story through letters he’s writing to his sister.

This does mean it drags in some places, but overall it works.

There are also plenty of moments to make the audience jump.

Elements of horror, science fiction and political allegory are blended together well. And above all we learn a valuable lesson—be nice to any dead people you may one day reanimate in your basement.

At the Royal Exchange, Manchester, until 14 April. For tickets, go to

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Thu 22 Mar 2018, 14:37 GMT
Issue No. 2597
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