(Image: the National Theatre Live website)
For the people who saw the National Theatre's production of Frankenstein on the Southbank in 2011, I know I'm ridiculously late to the party but bear with me here. I finally got the chance to see it last week and I thought it was absolutely fantastic.
The production was directed by Danny Boyle which, although I didn't know this prior to seeing it, was unsurprising as it was very well done. Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature during the show's original run - I saw it with Cumberbatch as Frankenstein and Miller as the Creature. I thought they were both so outstanding in their roles that I really couldn't imagine it the other way round, although I had friends who saw it that way round on the same night and they said the exact same thing. I was expecting Cumberbatch to be amazing because he always is but I had never seen Miller in anything before and I thought he was incredible. I really liked the set as well - there were loads of exposed lightbulbs hanging over the set which turned on and off at certain points which looked really cool. I didn't know the story of Frankenstein before watching it other than the man making a monster bit, but watching the play has really made me want to read the book because it had such a clever storyline. It managed to be shocking, heartwarming and heartbreaking all in one piece of theatre.
Anyway, the reason I came to see it two years late was because of a brilliant idea which I'm sure a lot of you will have heard of called National Theatre Live. I think basically the National Theatre appreciates that not everyone can get to the theatre in London for reasons of both cost and practicality, so they quite often have their productions showing at cinemas all around the country for a fraction of the price of a theatre ticket. Of course, it's not the same as going to the theatre but it really is the next best thing. They sometimes show productions live so the performance is actually happening in London as you are watching it in the cinema, but the showing of Frankenstein that I went to was what they called an encore performance whereby it is a recording of a live performance that has already happened. This is good as it means that you don't get to miss out on shows just because their run has finished in London.
I strongly recommend that you go and see this if you can. I see a lot of theatre so it takes a lot for me to say a production was brilliant, but this truly was. I've seen a couple of National Theatre productions (albeit none of them actually at the National Theatre!) and as you would expect, they are always of a very high standard. Seriously, get on it. If you are going to spend £15 on anything, make it this - you won't regret it.
Have any of you seen this?