Meet the Cast of Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein

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Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein is a musical based on the 1974 horror movie parody of the same name written by Brooks and Gene Wilder. The production will play at the Theatre Royal Newcastle from 26 August 2017 to 9 September before beginning previews at the West End’s Garrick Theatre on 28 September.

The initial casting for Young Frankenstein was announced April 21 and features veteran stage actors, a comedian, and a bona fide movie monster.

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein Cast

Hadley Fraser (Frederick Frankenstein)

Photo: Johan Persson

The titular Frankenstein (grandson to the more-famous Victor) will be played by West End regular Fraser. His theatre credits include Les Misérables, The Phantom Of The Opera, Assassins, The Far Pavilions, The Shaughraun, Peter Pan, The Pirates Of Penzance, Longitude, My Fair Lady, The Last Five Years, The Fantasticks, A Christmas Carol, and Pacific Overtures.

Fraser appears in the movie version of Les Misérables as well as the big-budget film The Legend Of Tarzan. He also stars opposite Sir Kenneth Branagh in the Murder On The Orient Express remake, which premiers this autumn.

Fraser is the co-lyricist and co-writer of the new musical Committee... which opened 23 June at the Donmar Warehouse.

Ross Noble (Igor)

Frankenstein’s henchman (and grandson to the original Igor) will be played by stand-up comedian Noble. His previous stage experience was also as part of a Brooks production, portraying Franz Lebkind in The Producers for a UK tour.

Noble frequently appears on celebrity quiz shows including “Have I Got News For You.” He also wrote, directed, and stars in the horror movie Stitches. Several of his stand-up shows are available on DVD.  

Lesley Joseph (Frau Blucher)

Joseph’s part is that of the German caretaker Frau Blucher. Best known for playing Dorien Green in Birds Of A Feather, Blucher also appeared in When Shoulderpads Ruled The World and Kings Of 70s Romance.

One of her earliest stage roles was in The Man From The Ministry, based on a Gogol play, performed in Lincolnshire in April 1968. Her acting credits include Wonderful Town, Godspell, and Annie.

Most recently Joseph appeared as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. She was eliminated from the competition following a dance-off.

Dianne Pilkington (Elizabeth)

Playing the young Frankenstein’s fiancée, Pilkington has been a regular West End presence since her 1997 debut in Les Misérables as the understudy for the role of Fantine. She has performed in Sweeney Todd, The Beautiful Game, Taboo, Beauty And The Beast, Tonight’s The Night, Wicked, Mamma Mia! and Cats, amongst others.

She has also recorded a solo album and performed tracks from the album as part of a one-woman cabaret show.

Summer Strallen (Inga)

(Photo: Pamela Raith)

Frankenstein’s assistant Inga will be played by Summer Strallen, the daughter of two members of the original London cast of Cats

Like her parents, Strallen acted in the West End production of Cats. She has also performed in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Guys and Dolls, Dick Whittington and His Cat, The Sound Of Music, and the Phantom Of The Opera sequel Love Never Dies.

Patrick Clancy (Inspector Kemp)

The man with the wooden arm Inspector Kemp is played by Clancy, a veteran of more than 100 stage productions. Acting highlights include Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (both the London production and the musical-turned-movie version) and The Producers in which he played Max Bialystock.

Clancy is also a celebrated musician who performs throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Shuler Hensley (the Monster)

Hensley is reprising his character from the Broadway production of Young Frankenstein for the West End production—a character he also played in the 2004 movie Van Helsing. The actor has performed on Broadway in Tarzan, Oklahoma!, and Les Misérables in which he played Javert. He also performed in Germany as Phantom Of The Opera’s eponymous phantom.

Opera performances include Wozzeck and Regina. He has also performed with several renowned symphonies, including the New York Philharmonic.

In addition to Van Helsing, Hensley has appeared in several TV shows and movies, including The Legend Of Zorro and Someone Like You.

Mel Brooks (writer, producer)

Brooks wrote the music and lyrics for Young Frankenstein, which is based on his 1974 film.

Beginning his career as a TV writer, Brooks contributed to Your Show Of Shows and Get Smart. He performed the Grammy-winning comedy album 2000 Year Old Man with Carl Reiner and won his first Oscar in 1964 for the animated short The Critic. He won his second Oscar for The Producers. Other classic Brooks comedies include Blazing Saddles, Silent Movie, History Of The World Part I, and Spaceballs, a Star Wars parody. For his role on the sitcom Mad About You, Brooks won three Emmy Awards.

Brooks’ musical adaptation of The Producers ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2007 and holds the record for most Tony Awards won by a Broadway musical with 12 (Brooks personally received three). Young Frankenstein ran on Broadway from 2007 to 2009.

Brooks was given a Kennedy Center Honor by President Barack Obama in 2009 for his contributions to American culture. In 2015 the British Film Institute presented him with a Fellowship, making him one of only 30 foreigners to receive the award. In 2016 Brooks was once again honoured by President Obama, this time with The National Medal of Arts, the highest artistic award given by the US government.

Susan Stroman (director, choreographer)

As the director of The Producers musical on Broadway, in the West End, and on the big screen, Stroman has successfully helped Brooks adapt his comedy for the stage (and film) before. A five-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer, Stroman is responsible for critically acclaimed musicals such as The Scottsboro Boys and Contact. She is a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame in New York.

Stroman has also directed and choreographed opera, ballet, and film.

Young Frankenstein plays at the Garrick Theatre from 28 September to 10 February 2018. Book your tickets today!

Guest post by Matt Schneiderman

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