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Play review: Frankenstein

"Thrilling, sarcastic and comical"

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Last week’s Frankenstein play in the theater was one of the things we truly needed amidst the stress going on in our student life. Honestly, I don’t think anyone knew why they had to watch a play at the end of their typical Tuesday, or why there was a play in the first place, a play that we didn’t have to buy a ticket for (or did we?).  There were announcements about it on Monday, which not many paid attention to, so everyone was a bit hazy as they entered the auditorium. But in the end, everyone had to admit that they liked it, a lot.

In the beginning, I thought the whole thing sounded a bit sketchy. Like, why are we forced to go watch this play, what is this about, why Frankenstein? I remember that one time when out of nowhere the middle schoolers decided to do a “flash-mob dance” as a prank (?) on the high schoolers, which was unexpected and not that funny, so I thought this unexpected “play” would be another flash-mob we have to go through again. But it wasn’t, luckily.

As the spot light adjusted on a man centered on stage, wearing a white lab coat, the audience quieted down. The play started with a crazy scientist speaking loudly in a German accent, which was hard to hear at some point, and picking up some bloody human parts props from a bucket, saying some other uncomprehensive stuff; the audience shifted uncomfortably. The actor did a fantastic job of creating a scary, creepy atmosphere, and kept that feeling throughout the play so the audience can experience it more realistically. The thing that was most striking to me was how the actors made the play seem so real, they broke the “fourth wall” and communicated with the audience at one point, and made some cheeky remarks that really brightened everyone’s mood. To add to that, the guy who played Frankenstein really looked like Frankenstein!

Frankenstein's_monster_(Boris_Karloff)

They also changed some of plot in the actual play and made it a lot more entertaining than the classical storyline. This made the play more fitting for the audience, who were high schoolers and teachers, because it was creepy and frightening, but at the same time cheeky and satire. It was also nice to know that some of the funny parts were improvised by the actors, which was special because we might be the only audience that would see that improvisation since they might never do that again. After weeks of tests and assignments, it was nice to watch a beardy man dressed as an old woman, shaking her hips violently as she walked away from a crime scene, as if any other women could shake her hips like that.

The actors from TNT production (The New Theatre in Dublin) were one of the finest and most entertaining people. Not only did they killed it as characters, having to play 2-3 roles each scene since there were only 4 people, but they were also a bunch of fantastic and humorous British folks.  The way they can project their voices without a microphone and change every part of their body to go into another character was one of the things that still amaze me until now. They made us scared, laughed, gave us goose bumps, and finally left our hearts melting after telling us that two of the actors were engaged and have been working together for years. It was these type of trivia that interested high schoolers the most apparently. It was also shocking to find out that they’ve only been rehearsing for two weeks, since two of the actors were new, before performing at UNIS.

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All in all, it was an amazing play, with all scenes thrilling, sarcastic and comical. It must also be an amazing learning experience for the drama students as well, and after seeing it I’m even considering to join drama next year (!). The one thing that made the experience more worthwhile, to me, was how unexpected the whole thing was. Had I knew what the play was about or who the actors were, I wouldn’t have watched it with an open mind, but since I did, the play felt so much more interesting. I was glad that UNIS was able to invite such amazing people to perform for us and hope that the guys would come back sometime to give us another play soon!

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UNIS Hanoi News: Get Your Curiosity Burning
Play review: Frankenstein