NT LIVE REVIEW: Frankenstein ★★★★

National Theatre Live
Thursday 30th October 2014

Originally wrote in 1818 by Mary Shelley whilst she was in her teens, the story that would probably define the 19th century would be Frankenstein, which was published anonymously at the time. The first adaption of the book to staged was in 1823, and since then, there have been over 90 cinema and theatre adaptations.

The most current to hit the stage now features Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, and originally performed at The National Theatre in 2011; due to sell out performances, the production was then screened in cinemas the following year. It has returned to the cinema each year due to high demand, and having  thenow experienced the wonders of the show, there is no surprise why; it should be noted that this production has also been produced in a way that actually invisages Cumberbatch and Miller alternating the roles of Victor/The Creature on various performances throughout the run, with the cinema screenings broadcasting both variations, and even though I have not had the chance to capture Benedict's version of The Creature this time around, I would love to one day get the chance to feel what the energy might feel like in the two playing opposing roles of eachother.

Right from the beginning you are transported into this world, help created by Director Danny Boyle. It wastes no time revealing the creature, who for the first twenty minutes we gawp on in amazement as he finds his balance to stand, to go on and search for other lifeforms. It is fascinating to follow the creature around, seeing Miller's interpretation come to life, and exploring how they deal with this creature which has just awoken, but has a fully functioning brain, developed from another human previously.

We see him make an ally through the character of De Lacey (Karl Johnson), a blind man who lives in exile with his son and daughter Felix (Daniel) Millara) and Agatha De Lacey (Lizzie Winkler). De Lacey takes the creature into his home for a year, and the relationship that he and the creature have is really heartwarming. De Lacey has no discrimination towards the creature, and see's the intelligence and gentleness that the creature has, so it comes as a shock when Felix and Agatha don't see the same, and the climatic conclusion in this part of the story comes as a dramatic end, making the audience see the creature in a new light.

William Frankenstein (Jared Richard) the brother of Victor (Benedict Cumberbatch) is the next person to encounter the creature, and  he  when whenhks journey ends,s Victor sets out to hunt down the creature and kill him once and for all. Leading up to the snowy mountains, and after a heated conversation, Victor agrees to create a female creature for the creature to live with. The energy here from both Jonny and Benedict is electric, and working off each other brilliantly. It is a such a brilliant scene, and keeps the audience hooked throughout. 

The rest of the production is just as wonderful, with many twists and turns keeping you on the edge of your seat; Mark Tildesley's set design against Suttirat Anne Lararb  costumes are rather striking and georgous throughout, giving a retro yet steam-punk vibe to the whole piece, with the attention to detail especially on The Creature a thing of beauty to marvel in; seeing it projected from a cinema screen, you get to see all the unique and different angles you may not see if watching it live in front of you, and it's all rather mesmerizing.

Overall, having wanted to see the show since 2012, when it was first announced to be screened, and now having fulfilled that dream to view it, I have no regrets,  with this stunning and visually awe-inspiring production. Never giving you a chance to fully breath, you really do not know where the production will go to in the coming scenes, which just made it even more exciting. A fantastic show, and one not to be missed if it hits the screens again.


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