Royal Ballet: Frankenstein review – Steven McRae reanimates Shelley's tragic demon

Royal Opera House, London
McRae is superb as the Creature at the centre of Liam Scarlett’s ambitious production, but surgery is needed to bring his strange story to the fore

For Liam Scarlett, the key to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is not horror, but love. When Victor Frankenstein strives to reanimate dead matter, it’s not because he’s a mad scientist, but because he’s mourning the loss of his beloved mother. When the monster he creates destroys Victor’s family, it’s because the Creature is in turn yearning for Victor’s love.

All credit shoud go to Scarlett for the depth with which he’s read Shelley’s novel, and for the ambitiousness with which he’s attempted to stage it. This new three-act ballet comes with a commissioned score by Lowell Liebermann and with designs of marvellously gothic invention by John Macfarlane. The front curtain is particularly arresting: a monstrous skull scribbled over with arcane medical annotations.

Scarlett animates the Creature with a language of lurching, limp creepiness, latent with demonic power

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Source: Guardian Dance News

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