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Mary's Monster mash is frightfully funny

It is almost 200 years to the day of the now legendary ghost story writing competition between Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and Mary Shelley, which resulted in two of the most enduring works of Gothic horror in the history of literature - Frankenstein and Dracula. Shelley, then an 18-year-old girl, shocked the chattering classes with her story of Victor Frankenstein, the hubristic scientist who spawns a monster after becoming obsessed with recreating the spark of human life.

Fast forward 200 years and a million bad B movies later, we find ourselves at The Warwick Arts Centre to see the latest Frankenstein adaptation, this time in the form of children's classic Monstersaurus.

The show, based on the work of another bestselling female writer, Aliens Love Underpants creator Claire Freeman, retells the Frankenstein myth for a decidedly younger age group than Shelley had in mind. The well meaning but misguided scientist is Monty (Harrisson Spiers) a child genius whose previous inventions include a walking toaster and a homicidal robot. Undeterred, one dark and stormy night (OK, maybe not stormy, but I'm sticking with the theme), he succeeds in combining a putrid sausage, a smelly sock, belly button fluff and a series of disgusting ingredients straight out of the pages of Roald Dahl to fashion a family of monsters, each more mischievous than the last.

In true Shelley style, the creations wreck havoc on Monty and his long-suffering mother until finally all are brought into line by the terrifying dinosaur-monster mutant Monstersaurus.

Dark stuff indeed - but the high-energy action ensured screams of laughter rather than terror from adults and children alike. Admittedly the songs, while catchy, sometimes went on a little too long but overall this did little to mar the fun and exuberance of the show which rattled along at a fair pace until the final panto-tastic conclusion.

I bet Shelley, when penning her masterpiece all those centuries ago, had no idea how her iconic work would capture the human imagination, inspiring writers for years to come. However had she been able to see the tributes fired by her work, I'm certain Monstersaurus would be among her favourites.

For tickets call the Box Office: 024 7652 4524

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