“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” ― Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Tuesday 19th October 2021

Drama and English students venture up to Christchurch for the Court Theatre's vivid production of Frankenstein.

'Frankenstein' trip to Christchurch
'Frankenstein' trip to Christchurch

A 4:15 am wake-up alarm... Mary Shelley was right when she wrote,

 'Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change", 

that being a very early wake-up call. Drama, English students and teachers alike found themselves setting their alarm clocks much earlier than a usual school day on August the 10th. It was a bit of a shock to the system but much needed in order to depart school by 5.15 am and make it to Christchurch for the morning matinee of Frankenstein.

'Frankenstein' trip to Christchurch — Image by: Kimberley Fridd

I must confess... I am not a morning person. Never have been. However, this trip may have swayed me a little. The benefits of getting on the road early meant we were treated to virtually vehicle-free roads and the most spectacular sunrise, as we coasted down the hill into the stone town of Oamaru. Definitely worth getting up for!

Oamaru sunrise, on route to Christchurch — Image by: Kimberley Fridd

We had a drama-free run all the way to Ōtautahi, with a quick bathroom break in Timaru, before arriving in Christchurch just after 10 am. A wee break with coffee refreshments and we were all feeling human again. Not long after, we all headed into the main theatre for the matinee production of Frankenstein. The pain of a very early start quickly faded into the background and we were treated to an absolute cracker of a show. We were all starting to feel a little bit chuffed with ourselves... we were in the fortunate position of getting to see a stellar professional production. It did not disappoint. 

'Frankenstein' trip to Christchurch — Image by: Kimberley Fridd

Nick Dear’s adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel was brought to life to rave reviews in 2011 at the National Theatre in London. This production was directed by Danny Boyle with a famous cast including Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, with the two lead actors alternating the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature. This clever production device was also replicated in Director Holly Chappell's version at The Court Theatre in Christchurch, with professional actors Wesley Dowdell and James Kupa, alternating in the roles of Frankenstein and the Creature. 

In this daring adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic novel from 1818, young scientist Victor Frankenstein brings to life a man-made creature, sewing together dead body parts with little thought to the consequences.

'Frankenstein' trip to Christchurch — Image by: Kimberley Fridd

Abandoned by his maker and treated to the worst of humanity’s scorn, the Creature becomes intent on finding Frankenstein and making him pay...

This international hit explores the eternal themes of humanity, good vs evil and what happens when we blur the line between life and death.

'Frankenstein' trip to Christchurch — Image by: Kimberley Fridd

At the end of the production, we were treated to a Q&A session, getting to delve deeper into the dark world of Frankenstein and ask any burning questions of the cast and production crew, before a quick lunch break on edge of town and heading back through Canterbury and Otago on our way home. By 7.20 pm that evening, we pulled back into Pilkington Street in the pouring rain and then we were all on our merry way home. A big day, but an absolutely great day. We were all left feeling very thankful for the experience.