Sunday, April 24, 2011


To London yesterday with my family to see Danny Boyle's Frankenstein at the National Theatre. What a fantastic production! Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller have been alternating the roles of Frankenstein and his Creature. We saw Cumberbatch as the creature and he was outstanding. The play begins with him emerging newly born from a strange cell-like structure onto an empty stage and then we see his struggles to learn how to control his body and get to his feet and walk.

The set in the Olivier theatre is amazing, parts revolve, rise and fall. Gothic castles, ships and isolated Arctic wastes emerge from the stage, and at one point a train steams towards us. And Danny Boyle used several cinematic tricks in his staging, frequently hiding the Creature somewhere in a set to produce a dramatic reveal at a key moment.

The theatre itself seemed to be draped in blood, a huge Bell hung above us and rang at various points to have us jumping in our seats and a thudding heartbeat score by the band Underworld completed the experience.

Gripping stuff

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