Theater: A Monster Calls – West End

Opened: May 31, 2018

Book by: Patrick Ness, Siobhan Dowd & Adam Peck

Original West End Cast: Matthew Tennyson, Stuart Godwin, Marianne Oldham, Selina Cadell, Witney White, John Leader, Georgia Frost, Hammed Animashaun, Nandi Bhebhe, Felix Hayes, Matt Costain & Jonathan Holby

The stage version of A Monster Calls doesn’t hold the same emotional impact that the book and film have.

Connor (Matthew Tennyson) is dealing with his mother (Marianne Oldham) dying from cancer. One night, the yew tree that he can see from his window becomes a Monster (Stuart Godwin) that comes to heal by giving Connor stories about life.

The staging of this show is creative genius. While the film benefits from making the monster CGI, the stage production relies on ropes and stilts to make the audience believe that the actor is a larger than life monster.

Unfortunately, much of the empathy towards the young boy losing his mom is lost by casting an older actor. In trying to act more adolescent, Tennyson doesn’t connect as well to the script.

Final say: Other formats affect you better. ★★★☆☆

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