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John Cooper Studio @41monkgate, York

Pick Me Up Theatre present the UK premiere of Monster Makers, a new musical by Stephen Dolginoff – whose Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story was a big hit for the company.

The musical "triple feature" is inspired by three monstrously true, behind-the-scene tales of the most famous monster movies in cinema history – the silent Nosferatu, Universal's classic 1931 Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff, and Hammer's colour Dracula and Frankenstein films.

In a BBC interview, Dolginoff explained why he chose Pick Me Up for the UK premiere of Monster Makers.

"They did such a good job with Thrill Me I knew that this was the company I wanted to premiere Monster Makers in the UK. I knew that they would do a wonderful job ... they have such a great reputation."

23-26 October  2019


Book, music and lyrics  by

Stephen Dolginoff


Directed by

Mark Hird

Producer and designer 

Robert Readman

Music Director

Sam Johnson

Lighting and sound

Adam Moore


F.W. Murnau; James Whale; Terence Fisher

Andrew Isherwood

Moritz; Jack Pierce; Dracula's Stuntman

Darren Lumby

Max Schreck; Boris Karloff; Peter Cushing

Tony Froud

Albin Grau; Carl Laemmle Jr; Anthony Hinds

Alan Park

Mrs Florence Stoker; Vera West; Victoria

Emma Louise Dickinson

Monster Makers UK premiere: Nosferatu

In1920s Germany, director F.W. Murnau fears he may lose a lawsuit brought by the estate of Bram Stoker over his silent vampire film Nosferatu, which is suspiciously similar to Dracula. Will all of the prints be destroyed?

Monster Makers UK premiere: Frankenstein

In 1930s Hollywood, make-up man Jack Pierce works carefully to create the defining look for Frankenstein's monster while trying to deal with director James Whale, who has a very different vision. Will he get the credit he deserves?

Monster Makers UK premiere: Hammer horror

In 1970s England, actor Peter Cushing hopes to be able to finish the final British sequels to Frankenstein and Dracula before outside forces threaten to get in the way. Will his horror fans be disappointed?

Will all three triumph while fighting for their art against the various demons they must face? As these famous monster makers each discover ... sometimes real life can be even more frightening than the movies!

Dolginoff received Drama Desk Award nominations for Best Musical and Best Music; an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Best Off-Broadway musical; and won an ASCAP Music Award for Thrill Me. It's been in seen in more than 150 productions in 19 countries and 12 languages.

Pick Me Up's production of Thrill Me at the York Medical Society in 2018 played to hugely enthusiastic full houses and was hailed as "superb" in a five-star review by the York Press. Take a look at some of the audience reactions.

Photos: Matthew Kitchen and Jo Hird: See lots more

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