‘Frankenstein 1930’ starts in Haverhill tonight

Joe Craig (Victor Frankenstein) holding the brain ready to transplant into the Creature (Steve Powter)
Joe Craig (Victor Frankenstein) holding the brain ready to transplant into the Creature (Steve Powter)

Haverhill Centre Stage Company’s latest offering, ‘Frankenstein 1930’, will begin performances at the town arts centre tonight (Thursday, March 20).

The amateur thespians will bring one of the classics of gothic horror to the stage in the shape of Frankenstein 1930, a play version of the classic tale by Fred Carmichael.

Mary Shelley’s timeless story of the unhinged scientist who creates a monster was adapted into one of the most famous horror films of all time in 1930, starring Boris Karloff, and it is an adaptation of this version which Centre Stage have chosen.

All the iconic moments are there, including the gigantic electrical storm which Victor Frankenstein channels into the creature to make it come alive, the scientist’s grisly assistant, his hapless fiancée, the terrified villagers and the innocent little child the Creature meets when he escapes.

The play features many of the group’s regular performers alongside some newcomers.

Joe Craig, last seen as the spaceship captain in Return To The Forbidden Planet, plays Victor Frankenstein, and Steve Powter is the Creature, with Billie Allen as Frankenstein’s fiancée Elizabeth and James Malone as his weird assistant Gorgo.

Three children share the role of Maria, the little girl who encounters the escaped Creature in the woods – Erin Brittain, Bethany Mason and Daisy Robson-Baillie.

Director David Hart said: “The story of Frankenstein is so famous that it’s more common to see a spoof version nowadays than the real thing, so we thought we’d go back to the old idea of just trying to scare people silly.

“This version follows the 1930 film rather than the original book as the current West End production does, which is very different.

“The film was based on a play which had toured the world in the 1920s – always with medical staff on hand to attend to members of the audience who fainted with fright.”

The play runs from today (Thursday, March 20) to Saturday (March 22) at 7.30pm each evening, with a matinee on the Saturday (March 22) at 2.30pm.

Ticket prices range from £7.50 to £9.50 and are available from the arts centre box office on 01440 707663.

For all the latest news see today’s (Thursday, March 20) Echo.