Roma Munro's adaptation of Frankenstein, Mary Shelley's classic novel, places the author alongside her characters in an interesting exploration of the dynamic between creator and creation.

Inspired after reading a collection of German ghost stories, 'Frankenstein' was written as a response to a challenge from Lord Byron to his like-minded Romantic-era peers, among whom were Mary Shelley and her husband, the famous poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The story tells of a charismatic German scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who dares to create life from death, and faces its consequences.

Upon entering the theatre, a darkened stage is mysteriously shadowed by clouds of smoke. Bright neon lights, moving stage parts and realistic sound effects promise an exciting performance that will stimulate the senses. At the same time, the stage - two-tiered, minimalistic and white - leaves scope for the audience to imagine each of the many locations for themselves while allowing for seamless transitions through Frankenstein's life.

For those without any background knowledge about the book, it could be confusing at first to grasp that Mary Shelley herself is onstage, amidst the constant multi-rolling of multiple characters.

However, her running commentary of the characters around her both made clear but also sped past elements of the plot. Despite moments of genuine fear, her comedic sarcasm interspersed amongst the dramatic story at times prevented terror and tension from reaching their peak - this performance might be preferred by more light hearted theatre-goers, rather than those expecting a gothic horror story. 

Nevertheless it would be impossible to be bored during the performance - perhaps ideal for introducing 'Frankenstein' to a younger audience - since the fast-paced drama is not weighed down by the Victorian language of the original novel. The actors themselves (including Ben Castle-Gibb as Victor Frankenstein, Eilidh Loan as Mary Shelley, and Michael Moreland as the Monster) delivered a convincing and captivating performance - though at times Shelley seems more similar to a teen with a sassy attitude than the precocious, intellectual daughter of a feminist.

The plot, though exciting in itself, is a little overshadowed. The adaptation focuses mainly on Mary Shelley's opinion of her own characters - especially contrasting the Monster's control over her emotions with her control over Frankenstein's fate.

In just under two hours, themes of love, loss, life and death come into play - yet the narrative does not come across as rushed, and overall the performance is intriguing and entertaining, yet intense.

Readers looking for a direct translation of the original novel may be taken by surprise, however even those with very little prior knowledge of the book can enjoy this thought-provoking production in a refreshing (albeit untraditional) take on the timeless novel.

By Isabelle Ho