MINI MOVIE REVIEW: “National Theatre Live: Frankenstein” (2012)

“Sliiiiiiiiiide to the left … and take a jump to the right!”

Last night I took a lovely opportunity to see some theater, albeit a recording of theater on a movie screen.  I went to see NT’s production of Frankenstein, directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller as either Victor Frankenstein or The Creature.  Yes, you read that right.  Bandersnatch and Jonny would trade roles every night, which in itself makes me go squee as only a theater major can do.  The performance I saw had Jonny Lee Miller as The Creature, which initially disappointed me, as Britishman Crazyname is one of my boyfriends.  (My list of boyfriends also includes David Tennant, Mike Rowe, and Jamie Hyneman.  You notice that the Hubster is not on the list.  That is because he is the Hubster.)  However, I settled into the show, and was charmed, repulsed, saddened, and delighted over the next two hours.

It is easy, of course, to think merely of good old Boris Karloff, in his square-head, silent, lumbering Frankenstein’s monster from the 1931 movie.  However, this production, written by Nick Dear, actually follows more truthfully Mary Shelley’s novel, and gives a voice to The Creature, more than we’ve ever heard before.  And we get to hear a lot more of Milton’s Paradise Lost than we all probably want to as well.

“A mind not to be changed by place or time. The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n.”

“A mind not to be changed by place or time.
The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.”
“Yeah, and you’re choking off oxygen to my mind; would you mind letting go, please?!”

The scenery also is a major character in the show, with a beautiful chandelier arrangement of bare incandescent and halogen bulbs acting as both starlight and lightning, and a turntable with hydraulic sections, with other minimalist scenery.  It’s just a fab performance, and you simply can’t go wrong with Bandicoot Cumberbund and Jonny Lee Miller.

“Shipoopi! Shipoopi!”
“Wrong damn show, Sherlock!”


About The Knitting Cinephile

I'm obsessed with good yarn, bad movies, and the Hubster.
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