My main man Jeff Bond called me up yesterday to tell me that he had an extra ticket to watch a screening of Danny Boyle's Frankenstein play being simulcasted into a local movie theater. I couldn't have said yes soon enough! I am a big fan of Boyle, and the play is being held in London.... this was going to be my only shot at seeing it, so I was in.
The other reason I had wanted to see this play was because the stars, Johnny Lee Miller & Benedict Cumberbatch, switch playing the roles of Victor Frankenstein & The Monster. Each night they alternate, putting their own spin on the two main leads. This is not something I have ever heard of before... and I really liked Miller in Dexter season 5. I was ready to go!!!
The version we saw had Miller as The Monster, and boy was he great. Boyle utilizes a very unique circular stage to put on the show, one that also has a rotating portion of the floor that he uses very well for effect. There was also an intense cluster of lights above the stage that flare often to signify the lighting giving The Monster life. Miller was superb from the opening scene, and the rest of the cast was great as well.
Benedict Cumberbatch was very well chosen to play the rebllious Dr. Frankenstein, but I just do not think he could do The Monster anywhere near the justice that Miller gave the part. In this version of the story, The Monster picks up knowledge pretty well due to the adult size of his brain. He learns to read and recite lines of prose & poetry from Milton, yet he has a hard time adjusting to the physical limitations of his newly animated body. A truly unreal performance. Very well done indeed.
You can get more info on the production and whether or not more screenings will be shown in your area by checking the National Theater home page by clicking here. This will probably be released on DVD/Blu-Ray soon as well. Here is the trailer as well.
I strongly recommend seeing plays this way... the experience was quite enjoyable. Thanks again Jeff... you are the man!!!!