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National Theatre: Frankenstein - Terrafactive Armageddon

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November 2nd, 2013

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10:47 pm - National Theatre: Frankenstein
One of my less-succinctly quantified criteria for good art is that it hangs around in the back of my head and pokes me every so often. The world stays with me. The ideas and images arise unbidden from the side-streams of my thought processes. A piece of my soul remains resident there; a piece of the art takes up residence in me.

Halloween night I celebrated by seeing both versions of Frankenstein by Nick Dear, as directed by Danny Boyle. Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch each play the roles of both Victor Frankenstein and the Creature, and I am really glad I had the opportunity to see both versions back-to-back, as they have informed each other and played off each other in my thoughts and perceptions.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a story that has always resonated with me, but this particular play/production seems to have seriously hit the proper notes to take up semi-permanent residence in my bifurcated soul. The musical soundtrack, by Underworld, is a huge part of that as well, evocative, appropriate and haunting.

So I enjoyed it a great deal, but the more I think about it as time passes the rawer and more ravished I feel, and the less inclined I am to share my thoughts and feelings about it. I'm crabby because I hate feeling this vulnerable. I'm also feeling a little apologetic because I meant to post a proper, in-depth review and I find myself balking. Maybe in a while. Maybe.

In any case, there is still a showing of the reverse-casting (Miller as Creature, Cumberbatch as Frankenstein) on Sunday the 3rd at 9pm at SIFF Uptown. According to the National Theatre Live site there will be some showings again in January - for non-local folks that site also lists all the places holding screenings, you can search for your locality.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 3rd, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC)
Sounds awesome!

I still feel like I've never seen a really first rate dramatic version of Frankenstein -- the James Whale movies are great in their own right, as is Young Frankenstein, but there are important elements of the book that they leave out. (The creature's ability to express himself, being perhaps the biggest.)

Kenneth Branagh tried, but really -- what's the phrase? Screwed the pooch?
[User Picture]
Date:November 5th, 2013 05:14 pm (UTC)
The creature is definitely given voice in this production, and I agree it is a critical part of the story. I think I saw that it will be back in January, and I'd seriously recommend seeing it. See both castings if you can swing it, they inform each other more to me the more I think about it.

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