Frankenstein's Aunt Act 1
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A new musical adapted from the novel by Allan Rune Pettersson

book by J. E. Hollingsworth, music by S. Carlton, additional material by J. Dunthorne

Tape of music available

First half available to read on screen


Speaking parts: 10 M, 3 F, + 1 non-speaking (F)


The year is 1910. The place: Frankenstein Village, where several years earlier, Henry Frankenstein carried out ill-fated experiments trying to create life. His castle is now in ruins, torn down by the enraged villagers. Henry is in exile, and the Monster is dead - or is he?

Accompanied by Franz, her private secretary, Henry's aunt, the formidable Miss Hannah Frankenstein, turns up at the castle where, to the dismay of Igor, the ancient retainer, she decides to restore the castle and the family name. The unexpected discovery of the Monster in a cupboard adds a new dimension to her resolution: not only will she restore the family name, she will also turn the Monster into a poetry-reciting aesthete! But apart from the opposition of the villagers, Frankenstein's Aunt has to endure a visit from a couple of neighbours, namely Larry Talbot - the reluctant werewolf looking for a cure - and Count Dracula, the world-weary vampire. In addition, nephew Henry turns up with a surprise for her - a bride for the Monster. How Frankenstein's Aunt copes with these problems and then faces a final twist in the tale is the subject of this hour and a half show.

Musical numbers:
'Frankenstein's Theme' - chorus of villagers
'Collecting for Frankenstein' - Igor
'A Private Secretary' - Franz
'It's a Dog's Life' - Larry
'Apple with Strudel' - villagers
'The Fang Tango' - Dracula and Aunt Frankenstein
'Bolt from the Blue' - Monster
'Bride's Waltz' - villagers
'From Now On' - Monster
'It's a Dog's Life' - finale with cast
Running time: approximately 1 hour 35 minutes excluding interval

Characters: 14 speaking/singing parts (4F, 10M), chorus, dancers
Set: interior - Great Hall of Castle Frankenstein
Script adapted from "Frankenstein's Aunt", a novel by Allan Rune Pettersson, with the author's permission.

A new musical
from the novel by Allan Rune Pettersson

Words: Jim Hollingsworth
Music: Steve Carlton
Additional material: John Dunthorne


Franz, Aunt Frankenstein's secretary
Igor, the servant
Aunt Frankenstein
Larry Talbot, werewolf
Count Dracula, vampire
The Stationmaster
The Postmistress
Gretchen, the postmistress's daughter
The Butcher
The Blacksmith
The Schoolmaster
Henry Frankenstein, nephew to Aunt Frankenstein
Elsa II, the Bride of Frankenstein (non-speaking)
Elementals who haunt the castle (dancers)

ACT I Scene 1

The Great Hall of Castle Frankenstein, circa 1910. Cobwebs, dust, decay, ruin. Tall Gothick window to floor level UC, massy stonework, eerie daylight filtering in. The hall is fitted up as a laboratory, with a maze of glass tubes snaking about the walls, mysterious coiled pipes, wires, switches (R), ropes and pulleys from the ceiling, shelves containing specimen jars filled with indescribably disgusting biological objects, and a low bed-like bench with gauges L. L and R are doors to the east (R) and west (L) tower rooms. UL a cupboard door in the wall, the door opening outwards. UR the door to the entrance hall, DL the door to the kitchens and elsewhere. Brackets on wall with candles. Two or three old wooden chairs distributed about. A hat rack UR by door with one top hat and an umbrella stand containing a cane. Steps should lead onto the stage from the auditorium. The front row of seats in the auditorium should be kept free, as the chorus will need them.

Introductory music. Set is dark. Slowly, a gloomy crowd of villagers approaches downstage. They are dressed in macs, oilskins and sou' westers; some carry umbrellas. Others have lanterns. Light only the crowd as they group themselves for the introductory song.

On a cold dark night when the wind blew hard,
A train roared down the line;
It was heading for Castle Frankenstein.

The lightning flashed as the thunder crashed:
She hoped she'd be on time.
Strange days ahead for Village Frankenstein.

Nephew Henry was to blame:
He'd built the monster and shamed his name;
Dark times had come to the House of Frankenstein.

The castle lay in ruins, torn down by vengeful hands;
They'd cursed the name of Baron Frankenstein.
Now Henry's fled and the monster's dead:
He'd paid dear for his crime.
They thought they'd heard the last of Frankenstein.

But Henry's aunt was on her way:
She'd clear his name and save the day
And end forever the Curse of Frankenstein.

On a cold dark night when the wind blew hard,
A train roared down the line;
It was heading for Castle Frankenstein.

End song.

Steps should lead onto the stage from the auditorium. The chorus should have seats at the front of the auditorium, where they can sit throughout much of the action. They gloomily take their seats at the close of this song. Stationmaster and Postmistress remain on stage.

STATIONMASTER (to audience): You never knew that Frankenstein had an aunt, did you? Well, he did. I should know: I'm the Stationmaster at Frankenstein Village, and I met her off the train.

POSTMISTRESS: She was on her way to the castle. She'd already sent a telegram ahead. Not that I'm nosy, of course, but in my position as Postmistress you get to know such a lot.

STATIONMASTER: The only permanent resident in the castle was Igor, the old retainer.

The cupboard door UL creaks open and Igor the servant cautiously enters from it. Business of furtively ensuring that something (Monster) remains concealed on the floor of the cupboard. Igor is hideously grotesque, with missing teeth and an evil leer. He limps, slobbers, cringes, and is generally repulsive. He satisfies himself that no-one is around, and sets about lighting candles. While Igor is lighting the candles, Franz enters UR, carrying an umbrella. He is nervous, wiry, highly-strung, with spectacles and hair which tends to stand on end. He has a cold and wears a scarf.

POSTMISTRESS: And there was Franz, the personal secretary of Frankenstein's Aunt. Such a nice young man, I always thought.

Postmistress and Stationmaster take their seats with the rest of the chorus.

FRANZ: No sign yet, Igor. And what a filthy night. I hope the train isn't delayed.

IGOR: Why don't you just take it easy, Mr Franz? After all, you've got nothing to worry about. She seems to do both you and herself very nicely, from what you've told me. Sending you on ahead at her own expense and all, just to make sure the place is fit to sleep in. She'll turn up in her own good time.

FRANZ: That's what I'm worried about, Igor. Miss Frankenstein always has done everything in her own good time. Unfortunately, it tends to take up everyone else's time too. I should know, I've been her personal secretary for some years now.

IGOR: Which train is Miss Frankenstein arriving on?

FRANZ: The six-fifteen from Munich.

IGOR: Plenty of time, then. It's always late. Don't know what all the fuss is about anyway. Why should Miss Frankenstein come visiting at all? What is there here now for her?

FRANZ: You don't understand my employer. She's got some bee in her bonnet about setting this place to rights. Is everything ready?

IGOR: As ready as it ever will be. Look, Mr Franz, let me get you some more honey-water, sir. You've got a nasty chill and no mistake.

FRANZ: I'm not surprised. The weather's been absolutely foul. What a broken-down old dump this castle is. Good heavens! When I imagine what it must have been like under Henry.

IGOR: You surely can't remember Mr Henry, sir? He was here long before your time. He - er - vanished many years ago.

FRANZ: Yes, but I've heard so much about him that it's almost as if he were with us now.

IGOR: God forbid!

FRANZ: What?

IGOR: Nothing.

FRANZ: I know he left a certain reputation behind him.

IGOR: The reputation of rotting fish.

FRANZ: Now, now, Igor! Just you remember your place.

IGOR: I do, Mr Franz. Igor never forgets anything. Igor was here when Mr Henry was performing those experiments of his. Igor has seen more horror and ghastly goings-on than anyone else in the entire village of Frankenstein.

FRANZ: Yes, well, just remember that Henry Frankenstein was a man greatly wronged. He was terribly misunderstood, you know, down in the village.

IGOR: Can you be surprised, Mr Franz? Surely you've heard the tales about that terrible monster he created in this very castle?

FRANZ: Yes! The secret of life! Just think, Igor, it was discovered on this very spot.

IGOR: Actually, it was that spot there to your left. Where the bloodstain still shows on the floorboards. I don't know how we weren't all destroyed. When the villagers finally stormed the castle I thought my last hour had come.

FRANZ: You old rascal! From what I heard, it was you who let them in so that you could save your own skin.

IGOR: Igor survives, Mr Franz. Igor always survives. They tried to hang me when I was a young man, you know. (Taps his neck. It makes a hollow sound.) But Igor outlived them all. Ninety-nine next birthday. Not bad, eh?

The doorbell jangles.

FRANZ: That'll be her! Miss Hannah Frankenstein! Well go on, man! Answer the door.

IGOR: Not me. I got a premonition.

FRANZ: What??

IGOR: It ain't going to be easy. You realise she never approved of Mr Henry's experiments?

FRANZ: Well? What of it?

IGOR: Well, she's not going to like the look of this, is she? I mean, the whole castle's in ruins. There's nowhere that has a proper roof, and I believe she thought the equipment had been dismantled.

FRANZ: Leave the explanations to me, Igor. (Doorbell again.) And answer the blasted door!

IGOR: I don't like it. Not one bit. (Makes for UR exit, but is forestalled by the entrance of Hannah Frankenstein UR. She is an extremely tall lady in boots. She carries a suitcase and an umbrella.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I was beginning to wonder whether the place was still inhabited. I've been ringing that bell for hours.

IGOR: Yes, missis.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Oh, not you! You're not still here, surely? Igor?

IGOR: That's me, missis. Igor as ever was.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: You repulsive old creature. So you're still butler here, eh? You must be nearly a hundred by now.

IGOR: Ninety-nine in November, missis. Still going strong. Igor's a survivor. I'll show yer. Watch this.

Music (a few bars of "Collecting for Frankenstein"). Igor performs a short dance, completely out of keeping with his character up to now.

IGOR (ad-lib through dance): How about this, then? Not bad for ninety-nine and still counting, eh?

Music ends.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: You evil old lump of malignancy. They should have strung you up years ago.

IGOR: They tried. Heh heh! But Igor survived. Igor always survives. (A few dance steps.) Carry your bag, missis?

FRANZ: Yes, Igor. Take Miss Frankenstein's bag to her - ah - room.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: If it's anything like this room, forget it. I'll stay at the inn in the village.

FRANZ: Oh, no, Miss Frankenstein. There is a bedroom in reasonable condition.


FRANZ: Of course.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: More than this place has. Just a minute! Those tubes! The pipes and wires! They're from Henry's old laboratory!

FRANZ: Yes, I imagine Igor can tell us about that.

IGOR: Me? Well, I didn't like to see the stuff go to waste. After all, Mr Henry spent years putting it all together. Very valuable, some of this is, you know.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: What about sending it to the local scrapyard?

FRANZ: Oh, I find it fascinating. I'd like to take a closer look at these things. (During the following dialogue, he pokes about among the tubes and switches, leafing through old notebooks and examining jars with great interest.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I don't like the look of that roof. It's leaking in here. If the rest of the castle is no better than this, we'll put up at the local inn.

IGOR: Oh, it could be a lot worse than this, missis. At least the kitchen has a roof. That's where I live. It's warmest there.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: What? Isn't there anywhere else for you?

IGOR: If you mend the windows and get decent fires going, the place might not be too bad. There's the odd elemental that flits about, but they're harmless and you get used to them. (One or two Elementals flit past: omit this reference if dancers are not being used.) There's bats in the chandelier in the dining-room.

FRANZ: What's left of it. It's an absolute ruin, Miss Frankenstein. No roof, no glass in the windows. Badly damaged, I'm afraid.

IGOR: Ah, that was when the villagers attacked.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN (sarcastically): And I suppose there's a werewolf in the drawing-room?

IGOR: No. I haven't seen him for ages. Maybe he's gone abroad, like young Mr Henry, you know. And I ain't seen the Count for a while, neither.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: The Count? What Count?

IGOR: Dracula, of course.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: That really is the limit! Are you sure those bats in the dining-room aren't the Count and his family? Perhaps he's been breeding.

IGOR: Oh, I think I'd recognise the Count. No, them's just ordinary small bats, so there's no need to worry, missis.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I'm not worrying. I'm going to put things straight in this castle again, even if werewolves and vampires are queuing up in the hall.

FRANZ: I say, Igor, what's this? (Holds up a disgusting dried object he has found among the jars.)

IGOR: That? Oh, that'll be a brain, sir.

FRANZ: What??? (Drops it.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Careful, Franz. You never know what's in some of these jars.

FRANZ: You're telling me. Ugh!

IGOR: You've got to be careful in here. I had a nasty accident once. Dropped a brain, just like you, only it was in a jar. Mr Henry had ordered one -

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Ordered one? A brain?

IGOR: Well, he'd ordered me to get one, missis. And what a terrible time I had when we were building that creature.

BUTCHER (from auditorium): I remember that. He used to call at my shop and ask if we had any offcuts.

IGOR (to Butcher): Shut up! Ah, the lab! It was just like this room, you know, except that there were some very fetching young lab assistants about in those days.

The lighting changes subtly because the scene now continues in Igor's memory. Aunt Frankenstein and Franz melt into the background as the Elementals who haunt the castle suddenly take the stage in the guise of female lab assistants. During the song and dance routine the Elementals hand Igor various organs, ending with a brain.


We used to get our parts from Burke and Hare,
But now they've left us dangling in the air
We've taken desperate measures
To obtain our fresh supplies:
We've turned to burglary
From the Department of Pathology.

A juicy heart, a dripping nose,
A size nine foot with hammer toes:
Collecting for Frankenstein.
A rancid eye, a furry tongue,
A leaky bladder and half a lung:
Collecting for Frankenstein.

There's miles of intes-tines here to enthral you:
All types of innard, every shape and form;
But what we're really after are fresh organs,
Newly cut and bottled - even better if they're warm!

A fluky liver, a pigeon chest,
A sphincter that's long past its best:
Collecting for Frankenstein.
A humerus and a scapula;
Without a femur he won't get far:
Collecting for Frankenstein.

But the pinnacle of primate evolution,
That seat of thought from which all wisdom flows
Is sitting here in strong saline solution.
I'll have to lift it carefully ...
Whoops! Oh, there it goes. (Brain is "accidentally" shot into band or chorus.)

Instrumental and dance.

Ra-ta-tata, ra-ta-tata, ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta,
Collecting for Frankenstein;
Ra-ta-tata, ra-ta-tata, ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta,
Collecting for Frank, collecting for Frank, collecting for Frankenstein.

Music ends. The Elementals trip lightly off, the lighting changes back to what it was, and Igor's dream is over. Aunt Frankenstein and Franz come forward.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: How disgusting! Didn't the jar you dropped contain the brain of a very famous scientist?

IGOR: That's right, missis. In the end I was forced to take the next jar I could lay my hands on.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Which happened to contain the brain of a notorious psychopath. Yes, I've read Henry's notes. But you never said anything when you came back with the wrong brain, with very aggravating results for Henry. And for the villagers.

IGOR: Oh, missis. Please don't let's talk about that any more. It was an accident at work, and I never talk about work.

FRANZ: What's in there? (Points to cupboard door L. Creepy chords.)

IGOR: Just a store room, Mr Franz. You can't open it. (Places himself in front of it.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: You're hiding something, Igor. What is it?

IGOR: Nothing, missis, honestly.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Out of my way, Igor. Come along!

IGOR: Oh, missis! You shouldn't. You shouldn't.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Why not? What are you trying to hide? (Forces her way past him and wrenches open the door.) Phew! What a smell! What are you keeping in here? Smoked lamb? Dried apricots?

FRANZ: Yoghurt? Sour milk? What is that lying there? A heap of old clothes?

IGOR: No, no. Ohh, don't go into it any further, missis.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: It seems to be an old tarpaulin covering something. Help me with this, will you? (Pulls off the tarpaulin, helped by Franz. More creepy chords.) There's something sticking out. Great heavens! (Chord.) A foot. (Chord.) A trouser leg. (Chord.) A hand. Oh yes!

IGOR: Oh no!

FRANZ: You mean it's a body?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Yes, but it's not just any body. See? That flat skull. That high intellectual forehead. The bolts in the neck! Oh, it's just as Henry's notes describe him.

FRANZ: You mean...?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Yes. It is he. Frankenstein's Monster. (Dramatic chord.)

FRANZ: Whew! I thought he'd been destroyed.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Evidently not. He's been here all the time. And alive! I can definitely hear him breathing. He's in a peaceful torpor. You know, at this moment I feel almost solemn.

FRANZ: Solemn? I feel almost sick.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Now listen to what I've got to say. Igor is an old man, and Franz, you've only got muscles for deskwork. Nothing wrong with that. You've many good points, and you know I think so. But you've seen the state the castle is in. The roof must be mended and every room gone through...and the garden's a jungle.

FRANZ: Quite. We have a great deal of work to do if you really want this old ruin to be made fit to live in again. In fact, can we do it? Ought we not to bring in hired help from the village?

IGOR: You'd never get them to help you. The villagers tried to destroy this place in Mr Henry's day. They certainly won't help rebuild it.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: No. We're not going to be able to manage this on our own, but if we made use of... (Looks significantly at the cupboard.)

IGOR: Use of what?

Aunt Frankenstein nods at the cupboard.

FRANZ: What? The Monster?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Why not? He could certainly do the heavy work himself.

FRANZ: Yes, but Aunt Frankenstein, my dear. The risks!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I am quite aware of the risks involved. But we will have him only as a carpenter and handyman. I could see he was a strong creature. Heavens above, what hands! Like lavatory lids.

IGOR: Yes, his left hand comes from a lumberjack in Neuburg. And if I remember rightly, a butcher in Himmelsdorf gave me some old rubbish from the ...

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I do not wish to hear another word about where the raw materials came from. That spoils the whole sculptural experience.

FRANZ: You don't mean you think he's beautiful, do you, Aunt Frankenstein?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Not beautiful, but powerful. And there's something peaceful about him. Like a sleeping child. Something innocent. Something pure. No decay at all. On the contrary, he's lying there like a slumbering prince.

FRANZ: Powerful? Peaceful? Innocent? Prince? Are we really talking about the Monster?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Yes, we're talking about the Monster. And I'm sure he was much misunderstood. I'm sure he never had a chance to show who he really was.

IGOR: What he really was. Because he consists of parts from at least eight different organisms: human beings, cattle, monkeys, goats, sheep...

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN (interrupting): Can't you keep quiet about that? Can't you keep it a professional secret or something?

IGOR: By all means. I won't trouble you with it.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: As I was about to say, it would be a great pity if we didn't use such an untapped source of energy. As soon as the job's done, we can put him to sleep again.

FRANZ: Well, I'm not having anything to do with it. You'll have to take the responsibility, Miss Frankenstein. After all, I'm not a technician: I'm your private secretary.

IGOR: That reminds me, Mr Franz. I've been meaning to ask you. What exactly does a private secretary do?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN (sarcastically): As little as possible.

At this unexpected retort, Franz gets rather annoyed and marches downstage determined to teach them a lesson.


I am a private secretary; I'm always in a hurry!
I can't relax a moment: always flurry, scurry, worry.
My desk is full of paperwork that never seems to end;
The telephone keeps ringing fit to drive me round the bend.

That's what I do all day,
Just in case you think
I'm simply writing letters
With blotter, pen and ink.

I am/he is a private secretary; I'm/he's always in a hurry!
I/he can't relax a moment: always flurry, scurry, worry.
My/his desk is full of paperwork that never seems to end;
The telephone keeps ringing fit to drive me/him round the bend.

That's what he does all day!
Just in case we thought
He sipped his morning sherry
Then started on the port.

I make the morning cup of coffee for all important guests;
I double-check appointments as her ladyship requests:
I tackle trouble with the servants if they're under par,
And go important errands with the chauffeur in the car.

That's what I do all day,
I don't want you to feel
My work is unimportant
Or in any way unreal.

I make/he'll make the morning cup of coffee for all important guests;
I'll/he'll double-check appointments as her ladyship requests:
I'll/he'll tackle trouble with the servants if they're under par,
And go important errands with the chauffeur in the car.

That's what he does all day!
Of course we'd never say
His work is not important
Or he don't deserve his pay.

I am/he is a private secretary; I'm/he's always in a hurry!
I/he can't relax a moment: always flurry, scurry, worry.
My/his desk is full of paperwork that never seems to end;
The telephone keeps ringing fit to drive me/him round the bend:
The telephone keeps ringing fit to drive me/him round the bend.

Old-fashioned telephone bell effect as music finishes

FRANZ: Oh, not again! (End of song.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Very well, Franz, you've made your point, I think. Now, Igor, do you know what to do to wake him up again?

IGOR: Yes. But I won't trouble you with it.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Oh? In that case, I won't trouble you with the increase in salary I was about to give you.

IGOR: Well, on the other hand, it would be rather nice to see if he's still in working order. The machinery should be all right. All we need is a supply of electricity.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Henry used lightning.

IGOR: Yes, and there's plenty of that about at present.

FRANZ: For the last time, you don't seriously intend to revive the Monster?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: For the very last time, yes. We shall make this laboratory shipshape and prepare the experiment. We start tomorrow.

IGOR: He he he! It'll be just like the old days.

An eerie, wolf-like howl is heard in the distance.

FRANZ: What was that?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Wolves? I suppose you still find the odd one in the forest.

IGOR: I don't know about that, missis. That's not all you find in the forest round here. Just like the old days. He he he!

End of scene: curtain or blackout

ACT I Scene 2

The same set, but tidier. Bench C with a shrouded Monster lying on it, swathed in bandages. Tremendous storm outside. Igor and Franz in white coats. Franz is sitting at a gauge L, watching a flickering needle and listening through earphones to the storm.

FRANZ: It's coming closer. What are we waiting for?

IGOR: We're waiting for the thunder to come directly overhead.

FRANZ: It'll be here any moment now.

IGOR: Shall I couple up the leads?

FRANZ: Yes. (Igor shuffles to the bench and throws back the sheet from the Monster's head. He connects two leads to the terminals in the Monster's neck.) So, the current will go through the bolts in his neck? I understand that much.

IGOR: They're not bolts. That's the cathode, and the other's the anode.

FRANZ: Like the poles in a battery. Plus on this side, minus on that.

A blinding flash of lightning is followed immediately by a violent clap of thunder.

IGOR: The time's come! Open the roof hatches.

FRANZ: Where's Miss Frankenstein?

IGOR: Who knows? Open the hatches. (Franz throws a switch. Machinery hums and they look up.) There they go! Just like Mr Henry used to do it.

The storm comes in. Rain, lightning, thunder, wind, fill the laboratory.

FRANZ: Why do we need hatches in the roof? We'll get soaked!

IGOR: To fly the kites, of course.

FRANZ: Kites? Why do we need kites?

IGOR: To trap the most potent electricity from the heart of the storm. Only that can revive the Monster. (Another tremendous flash and rattle.) Switch on!

FRANZ: But Miss Frankenstein - ! She wanted to be here for this.

IGOR: The storm won't wait. Switch on!

Aunt Frankenstein enters UR.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: What's happening, boys?

FRANZ: We're ready to switch on. We thought you weren't coming.

IGOR: Switch on, I say!


She grasps the switch, closes her eyes and pulls. Light surges through the glass tubes around the walls. Hair stands on end, sparks fly, the whole apparatus glows different colours and vibrates. Storm intensifies.

IGOR: Up with the kites! Press that button there!

FRANZ: I know! I know!

They release two kites which whirl up through the roof hatches. If this cannot be done, change Igor's next speech to "There go the kites, straight off the roof!"

IGOR: There they go, the little beauties!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: They're on fire!

FRANZ: No, just glowing with static electricity. Look at the gauges! The needles are all climbing into the danger sector.

IGOR: Don't worry about that.

The Monster begins to shake, legs jerk, arms flex. Steam is emitted from under the bench.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Come on, Frankie boy! You can do it, God and the fuse-box willing!

FRANZ: The tension's terrific!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Yes, it certainly is! I'm beginning to understand Henry.

FRANZ: Not that sort of tension! Electric tension. The voltage!

Smoke pours from the apparatus. Sparks fly from terminals. The Monster's convulsions become more violent. Suddenly, there is a bright flash and a bang and they all take cover. The laboratory fills with smoke.

IGOR: Switch off! All switches off!

FRANZ: Switch off yourself. I can't see a hand in front of me.

Aunt Frankenstein leaps to the switches and throws the lot. The thunder ceases. Coughing and spluttering from Franz and Igor. Steam rises from the Monster.

IGOR: Remove the sheeting. (Aunt Frankenstein does so.)

FRANZ: Is he...?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: He's breathing. He's alive!

The Monster's eyes open slowly and he raises his head.

FRANZ: Good morning, Your Highness.

A thin, dry whimper comes from the Monster as he slowly sits up and takes stock.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: You must be a bit weak after lying in a trance for so long. Help him to sit up, you two. (Franz and Igor comply. The Monster sits up with great difficulty.)

FRANZ: Do you think he can stand?

IGOR: I wouldn't force too much on him yet. He looks a bit groggy to me.

Monster groans feebly and waves his hands helplessly.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Just keep on looking, Frankie. You'll soon get into the swing of things. (Doorbell rings.) Go and see who that is, Igor. (Exit Igor UR. Aunt Frankenstein takes out her cigar case. Monster shows a flicker of interest.)

FRANZ: He's interested in your cigar, Aunt Frankenstein.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Can you say cigar?


AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Say it again. Ci - gar.

MONSTER: Ci - garrr.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: There, you see? You can say it. You used to be able to say whole sentences, so you'll have to start getting into training again. (Strikes a match. Monster's face goes rigid with terror. Stumbling from the table, he staggers across the room. One of the Villagers in the chorus screams and runs out of the auditorium.) Of course, dash it! You're afraid of fire, aren't you? (Blows out match.) There, there. It's all right. I'll smoke later.

MONSTER: Ci - gar.

FRANZ: Listen, Aunt Frankenstein, I'm sure he needs a period of convalescence before we can put him to work. Let him take it easy for a few days.

(Igor enters UR.)

IGOR: Missus, there's a bloke in the hall who says he's come to see you. Larry Talbot, his name is.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Larry Talbot? I don't know a Larry Talbot.

IGOR: I do, though. I certainly do. Only too well.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Well who is he?

IGOR: You'll see, Aunt, you'll see. So Larry Talbot's back again. Now it's really getting like the old days.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Bring him in, whoever he is. (Exit Igor UR.) Now, Franz, we mustn't let this Mr Talbot see Monster. Take him to the kitchen and give him some porridge, will you?

FRANZ: Right. Come on, Frankie. This way. That's right. (Exit Franz and Monster DL. Aunt Frankenstein swiftly tidies the room until Igor ushers in Larry Talbot UR, a middle-aged American with a fleshy face and bags under his eyes which give him the appearance of one who has suffered greatly.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Mr Talbot. I am Hannah Frankenstein, Henry's aunt. In what way can I be of service?

LARRY: Miss Frankenstein, I've come on a very - er - painful errand. The whole matter is extremely difficult and disagreeable to mention.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I can see that. You look as if you needed a pick-me-up. Igor. Please go and get Mr Talbot a large glass of sherry. (Igor shambles out DL.)

LARRY: No no. You misunderstand me. Drink is not my problem. It's the moon, if I may put it baldly.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Baldly? Mr Talbot, if your hair's falling out, you should consult the local barber.

LARRY: No, no. My hair isn't falling out, Miss Frankenstein. On the contrary, if anything. I am a condemned man, Miss Frankenstein. I was bitten by a werewolf in my childhood.


LARRY: That's what I said when it happened.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Where did it bite you?

LARRY: I'd rather not say; it's too embarrassing.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: No, I mean, where were you at the time?

LARRY: In the forest. But let me tell you what it's all about.

He moves downstage. Aunt Frankenstein moves up. The Elementals who haunt the castle make another appearance and act as a Fifties style backing dance group to the song. The Chorus of Villagers sing from their seats in the auditorium.


LARRY: For three weeks every month I'm just an ordinary man,
I go to work each day and do the shopping when I can;
Then I start feeling strange and it sure ain't PMT:
I begin to growl and snuffle; people start avoiding me.
I have this strange affliction makes me different from you:

LARRY AND CHORUS: It's a dog's life being a werewolf! Baby, ain't that true?
It's a dog's life being a werewolf! Man, ain't that truuuuue?

LARRY: I went out last night, left my clothes upon the floor;
I cocked my leg at lamp posts and kept scratching at the door.
My hair was thick and shaggy and my nose was cold and wet;
I bit a chunk from every living person that I met.
I have this strange affliction; I could give it to you:

LARRY AND CHORUS: It's a dog's life being a werewolf! Baby, ain't that true?
It's a dog's life being a werewolf! Man, ain't that truuuuue?

Instrumental and dance

LARRY: People jump with fright when I'm howling at the moon;
They shout and scream with terror as I drag them to their doom.
I must create new werewolves and there's nothing I can do;
It could be the person that is sitting next to you.
I have this strange affliction; don't you know it's true:

LARRY AND CHORUS: It's a dog's life being a werewolf and I'm after you.
It's a dog's life being a werewolf and I'm after yooooooooouuu!

Music ends, the Elementals disappear, the Chorus sit down, and Aunt Frankenstein comes downstage. Larry moves to her.

LARRY: And so you see, now I'm the scourge of the locality. Miss Frankenstein, tonight the moon is full again, and then I shall be once more transformed into a werewolf. I can already feel the early symptoms. (A slight growl comes from his throat. He is embarrassed.) See? I'm beginning to grrrrowl - to growl, I mean. That's one of the warning signs.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Oh yes? But what, Mr Talbot, can I do about it?

LARRY: You could lock me up. Your nephew did me that service. Then he left, and, ever since, I've been wandering like an outlaw with no fixed abode. I beg of you, lock me in the east tower room. Lock me in, and, whatever happens, whatever you might hear, don't open the door!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: That seems a fairly reasonable request. (Enter Igor DL with the sherry.) Igor. Mr Talbot is stopping the night. Get the west tower room ready.

IGOR: Certainly, missis.

LARRY: No, not the west tower room, if you don't mind. The east tower room.

IGOR: Yes, because Mr Franz is in the west tower room.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Of course, yes. I keep muddling the points of the compass, you know.

LARRY: And the full moon rises in the east. That is of great significance to me, and I want to be prepared for it when it comes.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I see. Go on, now, Igor, and make up the bed in the east wolf-lair. You'll have to excuse me, Mr Talbot, but I find it a little difficult to take this seriously.

LARRY: Miss Frankenstein, I assure you, it is deadly serious. (Growls.) I beg your pardon, but that growling again. Just don't open the door. I become a wolf when the moon rises. (Growls.) Oh no! That growling again!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Mr Talbot, if you wish, you may become a whole zoo. You can rest assured I will not open your door. Goodnight.

Igor leads out Mr Talbot R. Franz re-enters DL.

FRANZ: Well, I got a little porridge down him, but, good heavens! it's like feeding a baby. You should see the kitchen. Walls, floor, it's everywhere.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: We'll just have to see how it goes.

FRANZ: I told him a story. Hansel and Gretel. He liked that. What did Mr Talbot want?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Oh, nothing special. He only wanted to spend the night here.

FRANZ: I thought he looked a bit down. Well, I think I'll go up to my room for a while. I must put my telescope together. I thought of doing a bit of moon-studying; there's a full moon tonight.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I'd no idea you were an amateur astronomer, Franz.

FRANZ: It's a nocturnal hobby. We astronomers are pretty light-shy.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: So that long case of yours is for your telescope? I thought it contained your golf clubs.

FRANZ: No, it's my telescope. I'll go and set it up now. See you at dinner. (He goes out L.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Well, his relationship to the moon seems rather more sensible than some people's. (Monster enters DL.) Hallo. What do you want?

MONSTER: Hun - gry. Por - ridge. Hun - gry.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I'm not surprised you're hungry. I hear you've been throwing your nice porridge about the kitchen. You naughty boy! (Monster cringes.) Come on! We'll see if we can get the rest of it down you. And mind, no tantrums. (Exit Aunt and Monster DL.)

End of scene Blackout

During blackout Chorus of Villagers quietly leave the auditorium

ACT II Scene 1

Sunset the same evening. Enter Aunt Frankenstein UR wearing wellingtons and carrying a basket and secateurs. Igor follows with logs for the fire.

IGOR: Finished, missis?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Well, I just wanted to see what needed doing, Igor. I've cut a few of the more presentable flowers for indoors. (Puts basket down.) I'll be glad when we can use Monster in the garden. There's a lot to do.

IGOR: I think they're burning leaves down in the village.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Yes, we ought to light a bonfire too. All those dry old bushes. But then Monster would go crazy, I suppose.

IGOR: Yes, he can't stand fire. I remember in the old days, when the villagers came marching up with their torches. Heavens, you should have seen him then. He went quite crazy.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I remember Henry writing in his letters that they were always rushing around with torches. There never seemed to be any peace. Not that I want to defend Henry, but, as far as I can see, poor old Monster never got a chance to show what he could do. As soon as he went out for a whiff of fresh air, he got a torch pushed under his nose and a dog set on him. Is that right?

IGOR: Yes, roughly. Roughly.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I think Henry is a good for nothing. But even if he is, he should be given a chance. It's the same with monsters, don't you think? That's right, isn't it?

IGOR: Yes, of course. Of course.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Because if all dogs were judged by their coats, I wonder how many would be allowed out... Talking of that, did you lock that Talbot creature up?

IGOR: Yes, yes. Double-locked.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Funny creature, don't you think?

IGOR: A bit original, you could say.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: What did you do with the key?

IGOR: I left it in the door. Do you want me to go and get it?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: No, no. Spare your legs. No-one will go up there, and that part of the castle isn't used. I think we'll call it a day now, Igor. Go and see to Monster for a while and make sure he doesn't get up to any mischief. He may have woken up by now. He fell asleep after eating all his porridge and I thought it best just to leave him.

IGOR: Certainly, missis. (Exit DL. Franz enters L.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Ah, Franz. I'm just off for a walk. It's a nice evening.

FRANZ: Righto. I've just come back from one. Thought I'd get the circulation going before the night's observations. You get so cold behind a telescope at an open window.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I'm sure you do. But if it gets too cold up there, you come and have a glass of sherry with me.

FRANZ: Thanks very much. But I must hurry now. The moon will soon be up.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Don't let me keep you. (Exit UR. Franz goes to exit L, but stops.)

FRANZ (not realising that Aunt Frankenstein has gone): Oh, by the way, Aunt Frankenstein, I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to shift the telescope to the east tower room. You can see the moon better from there... Are you there? Aunt Frankenstein! Oh well, I don't suppose she'll mind. It's not as if there's anyone in the east tower room to disturb.

(Enter Igor DL.)

IGOR: Where's the missis?

FRANZ: Gone for a walk. Oh, by the way, Igor. I've just come in myself and I saw what seemed to be a number of bonfires down in the village.

IGOR: Oh yes. They're - they're probably burning leaves. Nothing to worry about. Nothing at all. And take no notice of the dogs barking, Mr Franz.

FRANZ: Dogs? I didn't hear any dogs.

IGOR: No? Oh, well then, nothing to worry about, eh? I'll be getting along, then.

FRANZ: Yes. Er, by the way, I suppose it's all right to move the telescope to the east tower room?

IGOR (scuttling out UR): Yes, yes, you do whatever you like.

FRANZ: Curious old bird at times. I'd better move that equipment. (Exit L. There is a pause. A devastating werewolf howl comes from the east tower room. Enter Aunt Frankenstein with Igor UR.)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I don't like it, Igor. The torches, the dogs, coming up from the village.

IGOR: No, missis. I think they're on the march again, just like old times.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Is Monster still asleep?

IGOR: He was all right.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Whatever happens, see he stays indoors. On no account must he be let out of the castle.

IGOR: Right, missis.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I shall stay here and deal with the villagers. If it's the stationmaster in charge again, I know how to handle him. You go and keep Monster out of harm's way.

IGOR: Right, missis.

(Sound of dogs and chorus of angry voices off, chanting "The monster must go!".)

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Don't waste time. Keep him in the kitchen.

IGOR: I'm going. By the way...


IGOR: Mr Franz...

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Is safely in the west tower room.

IGOR: Yes, but I've just remembered. His telescope. He wanted to move it. He wanted to put it in the ...

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: He can move it without you. Now go! They're here.

The chanting grows louder. The villagers will come through the auditorium, and Aunt Frankenstein should meet them at the front of the stage. There should be some steps up from auditorium to stage; see set plan.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Well, come in, but leave those wretched dogs outside. Get away, Igor!

IGOR: All right. (Exit DL. The Stationmaster leads the villagers to the front of auditorium and mounts the steps, perhaps getting on stage. Others, including the Postmistress, Gretchen, the Blacksmith, the Butcher, the Postman and the Schoolmaster, crowd around him, carrying lanterns. Dogs barking off.)


STATIONMASTER: You no doubt know why we've come?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: No, I certainly do not! So we meet again, do we? I didn't expect to see you before my journey home.

STATIONMASTER: The pleasure is all yours, I'm sure.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Come to the point. What do you want?

STATIONMASTER: You've woken up the Monster. Can you deny it? We saw the lights in the castle during the storm. We saw the kites flying from the tower.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I don't deny it. But it was not my original intention.

BLACKSMITH: Tell that to the Marines. (Laughter).

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: As I said, it was not my original intention. It was only when I saw the state the castle was in that I realised that I needed the help of a pair of supernaturally strong arms.

STATIONMASTER: The value of our houses goes down when we have to live near a monster.

BLACKSMITH: Go home, and take the monster with you!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Gentlemen, I assure you Monster will not be allowed to leave the castle grounds. You can sleep safely. Monster is going to help me restore the castle, that's all.

STATIONMASTER: The monster must go!

CHORUS OF VILLAGERS: The monster must go! The monster must go!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Listen! Don't think I'm defending my nephew Henry. Henry is a good for nothing and I agree. But I've come here to put things right again. I'm here to clear the family name.

STATIONMASTER: There's not enough soap and water in the whole of Bavaria to do that.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Are you all without faults yourselves? Are you all pure as the driven snow? Blacksmith, have you always unstintingly paid your taxes? And you, Postman. Have you never ridden your bicycle when you've had one too many? Or you yourself, Stationmaster. Haven't you ever done a bit of unlicensed home brewing?

STATIONMASTER: How do you know about....? Er - er - The Monster must go!

CHORUS OF VILLAGERS: The Monster must go!

STATIONMASTER: Remember, this is an area with traditions of culture. In this castle, Lord Bygone and the great poet Jelly once stayed the night...

SCHOOLMASTER: For God's sake, Fritz! They're called Lord Byron and Shelley.

STATIONMASTER: Well, anyhow, they stayed the night here once on their way to Switzerland.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: As if I didn't know that! The Frankenstein family is related to Shelley's wife.

STATIONMASTER: But then you Frankensteins started getting up to all this mischief and that was the end of poetry. That's when Philistinism came to this village.

CHORUS OF VILLAGERS: Exactly. Philistinism.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: What? How dare you! I don't think you can even spell the word. What does it mean? You, Stationmaster. What does Philistinism mean, eh?

STATIONMASTER: Well, it - I can't put it into words exactly, but the blacksmith knows.

BLACKSMITH: No I don't. I can't even pronounce it. Try the butcher.

BUTCHER: No use asking me. I nominate the schoolmaster.


BUTCHER: Now, now!

SCHOOLMASTER: - butcher! Er - Philistinism. Yes, it's - er -


SCHOOLMASTER (after a desperate pause): Collecting stamps?

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Rubbish! It's vulgarity.








The Villagers
STATIONMASTER: Now look, Miss Frankenstein, we may not know much about art and poetry and music and all that, but we know what we like.

The Stationmaster leads the way as the Chorus take centre stage.

We love our beer: we're Bavarian men,
Never renowned for the sword or the pen;
We're famous for drinking and slapping our skin
In the silliest dance that you've ever seen.

Chorus: Apples with strudel; leather and lace;
Big black moustaches that cover your face;
Large Alpine horns and a cow with a bell:
This dance is pointless, but what the hell!

Our knees are knobbly; our bellies are large;
We all have women the size of a barge.
We dance till we drop and then count up to ten,
Drink five more steins and start off again.

Chorus: Apples with strudel; leather and lace;
Big black moustaches that cover your face;
Large Alpine horns and a cow with a bell:
This dance is pointless, but what the hell!

We wear big bright hats and we all like brass bands;
Our dancing is famous throughout all the land;
But we never travel by road or by rail:
Dressed up like this we'd end up in jail.

Chorus: Apples with strudel; leather and lace;
Big black moustaches that cover your face;
Large Alpine horns and a cow with a bell:
This dance is pointless, but what the hell!

First snap your fingers and then slap your bum;
Pat-a-cake your partner and tickle his tum;
Do boomps-a-daisy and turn round as well.
We know it's pointless, but what the hell!

Chorus: Apples with strudel; leather and lace;
Big black moustaches that cover your face;
Large Alpine horns and a cow with a bell:
This dance is pointless, but what the hell!
This dance is pointless, but what the hell!
This dance is pointless, but what the hell!
We know it's pointless, but what the hell!

End of song

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Now listen to me! Before the end of the summer, I will invite you all to a soir‚e here at the castle, where I promise you'll hear Monster reciting poems by Shelley.

Crowd laugh derisively. Franz bursts in R. His shirt is half off and his hair is on end.

FRANZ: Aunt Frankenstein! He's got out!

CHORUS OF VILLAGERS: The monster! He's escaped!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: But I told Igor to lock him in.

FRANZ: Not Monster! Talbot!

A smash of glass, off, then Talbot springs in R. He is unusually hairy, his face is that of a wolf, and he is wearing only his trousers. His fangs protrude and his hands and feet are armed with claws. He pauses, snarling.

STATIONMASTER: The werewolf! Run for your lives! Women and children after me!

The Villagers flee through the auditorium.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN (to Talbot): Don't you go baring your teeth at me. I can bite too, if needs be.

FRANZ: Aunt! Get away! He's dangerous.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I can't take the responsibility of that hairy great thing running around all night. If anything happens, the villagers will blame us. (To the werewolf.) Come on then, come to Auntie. There's a good werewolf. Franz, open the cupboard. (She retreats towards the cupboard UL. The werewolf follows her, snarling, preparing to spring. Franz gets the cupboard open, and retreats behind the door.)

FRANZ: I hope you know what you're doing.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: I've always been good with dogs.

FRANZ: Some dog!

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: There we are. Good boy, Larry. Come on, then. Come on. Franz, slam that door shut when I tell you. Come on, boy. Give Auntie your paw. No? Then you'll have to go in to your kennel. In! In, I say!

Just in time, she sidesteps as Talbot springs with a great roar, straight into the cupboard. There is a rending crash, the werewolf roars mightily, and over all comes Aunt Frankenstein's shriek to Franz.


Franz slams shut the cupboard door, which shakes and rattles under the werewolf's claws. His roars are deafening. When they subside for an instant, Aunt Frankenstein calls to him.

AUNT FRANKENSTEIN: Mr Talbot! No more nonsense now, if you please. You can stay in there until you learn how to behave. Then you can come out and have a glass of sherry, like a decent human being. But not a drop of any kind as long as you persist with that lower jaw. You understand? (A blood-curdling howl is Talbot's reply.) Franz, my dear, would you go and get out the corkscrew? Today really has been rather a strain.

Another howl from Talbot.

End of extract


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© 1995 S Carlton, J Dunthorne and J E Hollingsworth who assert their moral rights to be recognised as the authors of this text 1