EVEN the title tells you the way Mel Brooks' comedy brain works. The long title is a parody of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, a classic Gothic story about a scientifically created monster, on which this new, mega-buck production is based.

Newcastle has been chosen for a fortnight's run of shows before it transfers to the Garrick Theatre in London's West End later this month and the North East populace are repaying that privilege with packed houses.

Written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan with music and lyrics by Brooks, the show is based on Brooks' 1974 Oscar-nominated film Young Frankenstein, starring Gene Wilder and Marty Feldman.

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A Broadway version of Young Frankenstein ran for 484 performances and closed in 2009.

Following the success of the theatre version of his brilliant film The Producers, Brooks has called on a top theatrical team to revamp this show, hoping to emulate that achievement.

Opening with the brilliant scientist Frederick Frankenstein (Hadley Fraser) singing about how much he loves the brain ("there ain't nothing like a brain"), we see him transported to a castle in Transylvania to put his grandfather's affairs in order.

However, the young Frankenstein faces a dilemma: to continue his grandfather's experiments to reanimate the dead or return to normalcy and his wealthy fiancée Elizabeth (Dianne Pilkington).

Seduced by a sultry, yodelling lab assistant Inga (Summer Strallen), aided by Igor (Ross Noble) and a mysterious housekeeper Frau Blucher (Lesley Joseph), he decides to stay to create a Monster (Shuler Hensley).

Director Susan Stroman does an excellent job keeping the show moving throughout many scene changes on the colourful Gothic set while Fraser, Noble and Joseph work tirelessly to deliver the gags and the bulk of the 18 songs. All are superb in their roles and the supporting cast is top notch.

Setting of like a steam train of laughs, the pace sags halfway in the first half but ends on a cracking song called Transylvania Mania.

The second half has touches of comedy magic but, for me, the highlight was the ensemble dancing to Irving Belin's Puttin’ On the Ritz. Berlin is, admittedly, a hard act to follow but perhaps this says something about the quality and consistency of Brooks' songs.

In The Producers we were rooting for the unscrupulous but loveable underdogs. As much as one admires the fantastic production values, brilliant cast and, at times, genius comedy of Young Frankenstein, the narrative allows no-one to root for and that is the difference between drama and a parody when a joke is stretched to the limit.

Ed Waugh