National Theatre’s “Frankenstein”

Students in 2nde OIB and Terminale International must watch and post their review to Frankenstein below before Thursday, May 7th.

The running time is 2 hours, so you may want to watch it in two parts and take a break in between.

There will be TWO versions posted, one with Benedict Cumberbatch as the “creature,” and the other with Jonny Lee Miller. You can choose whichever version you prefer :

In a review, you may want to comment on the following:

• The form and style of the production • The artistic choices which have been made, including sound, lighting, set and costume design choices • Your own critical appreciation of design elements and performance skills • What you think the creative and production team’s intentions were in staging the production • Significant moments in the production where you notice a specific performance skill being used or think a particular directorial decision has been made • Your own response to the overall effectiveness of the piece as an audience member

Please watch the above videos as an introduction to the idea of “the man-made monster” in literature/culture.

23 thoughts on “National Theatre’s “Frankenstein”

  1. National Theatre National Theatre at Home: Frankenstein
    Benedict Cumberbatch performing as the creature
    this play was expressed on a moving stage with many different intricate parts in front of a large audience in a large room with a ceiling filled with thousands of light bolds. By far this play has the most unique and interesting style. In the middle of the stage lies a circular platform that can send and elevate. The stage was used as a rail way, a farmhouse, a field, and laboratory. Besides all these different scenes there’s also the use of amazing props like a train, snow, rain, birds(not real but reflection). In addition there was the use of sound and light as well. Sound: thunder, rain, birds, music, and the sound of a bell. Light: lightning, darkness, day/night, cold, fire, and the use of light to direct the attention of the audience to one person. The costumes were mostly rags and old timey clothes but each person that had a different job in the play could be distinguished by their clothes. The choices the artist made were amazing they brought up the story even further by adding little bits and pieces of decor and sound to make the audience as attentive as possible. I loved all the moving parts and thought it was very creative and i was shocked in a good way at how in depth they thought through every detail. It is difficult to act out a part that seems inhuman but Benedict Cumberbatch did an amazing job of creating the character and action of the creature. I loved the plot of this play; this play expresses that abandonment, discrimination, loneliness, sadness, and loss can make people change even if they don’t want to. A person isn’t born bad but its surrounding make the person who he/she is today. The part of the play that was most memorable to me was the beginning where the creature first enters the world. The actor expresses the movement of the creature so well and as the play progresses we can see the creature develope and start to learn. When he went outside he first experienced harm and discrimination and then grass birds, day , and even rain. The actor expressed these scenes in such a way that we could almost think that he himself did not know these things. I also thought that the ending was very clever how both the master and the creature end up together and travel to find what they are missing. I kind of felt bad when the creature said that he doesn’t want to be bad and wants to be good. I thought that his arguments with his master were very cleaver and that his master though what he was doing was justified but then the creature explains and suddenly the master is doubting himself. This shows that there is no justification for revenge, harm, and hatred. I believe that this play was very effective in the way it relieved it moral. The lay kept the audience on their toes and made everything feel and seem realistic. All in all, i love the play and though it was well developed. play and though it was well developed.

  2. I have just finished watching the Live National Theatre Frankenstein. When I found out that Benedict Cumberbatch watch the creature in the film I was amazed. I have watched a lot of movies from him and i just think he’s an amazing actor. But when it came to this particular film I didn’t really expect him to act as a creature in this play. The way that he played his role in this film is amazing. In the begging I kind of got a bit scared because of the way he acted as the creature, and it was going on for 20 minutes. But how amazing is it that you can act like a creature just been made and abandoned right on the spot. The make up and the costume that they have made on him is outstanding. It made it look so realistic that I got really scared in the begging. When I kept viewing the film I saw how they treated the creature and its just made me so sad at wanting to go up to the stage through my computer and help him because I can’t help it when someone is in need of help, people must reach out and help him. However, when the creature met the old blind man and taught him how to read, write and show him the discovery of the world. I was really great full because there was someone who didn’t judge the creature and wanting to help him with no cost. The sad part was when the creature had to burn down his house because his son and his wife didn’t appreciate him and didn’t welcome him to the family. The old blind guy could’ve been his family but he ruined that. After the old blind guy he met William and William knew Victor, so he forced him in a unjust way to get him Victor. Victors wife sadly also passed away only because Victor killed the supposed to be wife of the creature the only thing he would have to not be lonely again. The sad thing is that the creature has to kill the people that don’t accept him, and thats not always the right way theres always other ways to figure things out. All the creature really wanted in life was a friend and love and apparently no one could give that to him because of his appearance. At the end of the film Victor and the creature went away together to another place. My opinion of this film that I have watched, to be honest it really touched me because everyone needs to be loved, love is the most important thing in your life to make you happy. Some bits were scary but I got through them. Out of all the films that Ive watched that Madame Carpenzano has given us this would probably be my favourite .

  3. Frankenstein, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature is by far my favourite play we have watched so far.
    I think this play makes its viewers reflex on, not only how we treat others and how our society behaves, but how we are all a bit like the “creature” at times. Cumberbatch’s performance was simply incredible, he was able to present a character scary and strange as well as familiar and a victim. In the beginning, the creature is seen as this disgusting, scary thing that no one wants and cares for. However as the creature discovers nature the viewer realises he is just like a baby, new and innocent. One of my favourite scenes was when the creature was playing in the rain, because as mentioned earlier he seemed like a child, laughing an discovering nature. Cumberbatches acting was so good, when the creature was hurt and turned away by people, everyone felt sad and wanted to protect this creature. Then he encounters the old blind man, who teaches him how to read, write an talk. Its a great transition for the creature to go from unwanted and foreign to a character that was loved and cherished by this old man, and thanks to his help had acquired much knowledge. When the creature takes a leap of faith, and presents himself to the old man’s son he is rejected, and this results in him burning their house. In this moment that child that didn’t know anything about rain and snow resurfaces, and the creature goes back to feeling lost and lonely. In the end, the real message of this play becomes clear, everyone deserves to be loved. The creature’s master teaches the creature, and educates the creature on right from wrong.
    Apart from Cumberbatch’s incredible acting, the props and stage was incredible. Lights and sounds were used greatly to emphasise emotions as well as the change of seasons. I was fascinated by the lights that hung from the ceiling, that were sometimes used to show electric shocks, such as in the beginning of the play, or love. The set had a round platform that would move, and therefore the play was able to show the viewers a laboratory, prairie house and even train at one point. There was also singing which help represent the time in which this is set.
    I really enjoyed the play, and it really made me think about how we treat people as a society and how we are all a bit like the creature.

  4. First, let me explain the basic story of this play. The scientist Frankenstein wanted to make humans and made it with all his might. And finally succeeded, but it was a non-human monster. Frankenstein regrets his results and runs away from the monster. Over time, it seemed to have stabilized thanks to my friend Clever, but happiness did not last long. The monster begins to kill the characters around Frankenstein one after another. When Frankenstein refused to create a woman for the monster, the monster was running out and began to take revenge to feel the loneliness and pain he felt. Eventually, Frankenstein is left with revenge and anger, and begins a chase with the monsters. However, Frankenstein, who is already exhausted, becomes ill and the monster feels complicated and dies together. When I saw this play, the monster was like a baby. I imagined that I would like to interact with others by admiring the beauty of nature, such as the warmth of sunlight, expressed by lighting and sound, and seeing people who get along. So perhaps the monster was heartbroken by looking at himself and seeing frightened people. Others may think that monsters are ugly, vicious and have no human sensibility, but I think monsters are more sensitive and susceptible than ordinary humans. He was loved by no one and looked at other people’s eyes, and I think he must have done so. I think if Frankenstein had been warmer to the monster, the results would have been different. If I had been Frankenstein, I would have grown up to become a Frankenstein person by taking care of the monsters like my adopters, studying them, and slowly telling them about the world. Of course, the monster was ugly and weird, so I didn’t want to get close to it, but I think that it was also made by Frankenstein. To tell you the lessons learned from this play, I thought that Frankenstein, who had the best talent than anyone else, fell to the hell like this, and that talent and business achievement did not necessarily lead to happiness. It may not be related at all, but the most important thing seems to be true achievement. The second lesson is not to judge only by the appearance of the person, and the last lesson is to do my best to take responsibility. The actors in this play were also very acting and I thought it was a good idea to design devices that could express rain on the stage, devices that rotated on stage, and tools such as grass on the stage. It was also interesting to create an atmosphere with lighting colors and songs, sparks, smoke and wind noise. Personally, I felt very scared by the appearance of a person jumping out of a tent with a red light, shadow behind the fabric, bass music, electric shock, and heart sounds, and a makeup on my body. This is a play that gives impact from the beginning, making the audience want to focus more. To conclude, I think this play has a great story, actors, and settings, so I really enjoyed it.

  5. I really like this play, it was very interesting.
    At the beginning it was cripy and scary but the story was really nice and I enjoyed to watch it.
    The background was very pretty and realistic. The different decorations were magnificent and sophisticated.
    This play also has a moral. We notice that in society, people judge very easily on the physical before even knowing the person and we see it very clearly when the blind sympathizes with the creature and teaches him a lot of things. Then when he presents him to his son, he shouts and asks the creature to leave.
    The story was very interesting and has a good moral.

  6. The artistic choices elucidated in this play were very explicit; with a unique style the play is presented on a moving stage with many different parts. The center of the stage can be elevated, giving the play a symbolic touch of moments when one stands upon and is elevated. Furthermore, the stage is not only diverse in its infrastructure but also in its representation: multiple situations in different places are constituted with the distinctive scenery. Manifestly, the scenery is brought along the way with important use of sound and colors; sensory imagery is promoted all along the play.
    When it comes to the acting, in my opinion Benedict Cumberbatch did a great job incarnating this difficult role, giving the viewer an image of a reality-near play where the viewer needs to be reminded that the presented play is only acting. His acting was even more so strongly appreciated through his creation of emotions in the viewers feelings throughout the play: whereas on one side you can see Frankenstein as cruel and scary there is also a feeling of pity that may arise during the play.
    Lastly the plot was amazing. Along the artistic choices and the stage the plot gave a far better reflection on certain topics than other plays: not only society and its norms but also one’s own behaviour and loneliness are elucidated in this play. The link between society and one’s behaviour in this play makes clear to what extent society shapes individuals; are the “bad people” in society born bad? Are they raised bad because of their family, friends, surroundings? Or are they shaped by society leaving them to become one that they were not by nature? These almost existential questions are what I really appreciated in this play.

  7. Frankenstein
    This play is marvelous and fascinating
    It’s doesn’t only show huge performance skills and an incredible decoration and staging, but the importance our society gives to appearance.

    Through a sad, hard and dark story the audience is deeply touched and learns that people’s appearance isn’t that important, even though its the first thing our eyes perceive, the soul and the goodness are far more relevant.

    It is evident that the presence of Benedict Cumberbatch affirms the quality of the play, he is a great actor, passionate and a master of acting.

    The lighting, the music, the costumes were incredible, every single detail has been taken in consideration by the producers, which makes it easier for the audience imagination and their entertainment.

    The character of the creature made through Frankensteins experiment, is really difficult to perform, as it’s not only a different form of taking, but of moving, reacting, shouting, expressing… It is a tough role that demands lots of concentration and technique. Yet, the actor did it perfectly, he did a great job during the whole play.

    What I love about this play is that all that perfection and effort together isn’t only used for entertainment but for teaching morality, charity, humility, compassion… and so many other essential and lost human values to their public.

  8. Frankenstein is play that I loved watching, it has a really surprisingly good production that strongly embellish its heart touching story.
    The stage is a kind of rotating circle with a lot of lightbulbs above it, the different coloured lighting, for example red or blue, always gave a peculiar mood to the different moment from anger to madness and sadness. The stage also changed pretty quickly and became completely different spots with the place the creature was born, a railway, a forest, a hut, a lake, a house and Frankenstein’s lab. The sound effects are really realistic and let the spectators immerse themselves in the story, the fake rain was also an immersive element that the production team managed to look real. The clothes, the steam but also all the small details from the decor permitted a really well immersion in the story
    I also really appreciated the actors performance, at first though, I was really disturbed while watching Benedict Cumberbatch performance of the creature’s birth. Those twenty minutes were sincerely the longest one I ever experienced. At this moment, I was disgusted and then, throughout the play, I felt pity for the creature. The actor’s performance and the creature’s story were really sad, I never watched Frankenstein or read it before and while watching it, I couldn’t help myself but make a link with the Joker’s movie. I guess this movie was made after Frankenstein’s novel, mostly on its moral about society. In both cases, we can see how the good protagonist becomes a killer because of the way society treated him.
    Apart from that, I also really liked the scientific’s interpretation, he looked like a cold mad man with no feelings but also really lost which lead me to be more empathic towards him even though I hated him. His behavior towards his wife was really awful when on the other hand, she was the most kind and opened-mind character. She was personally my favorite character in this play because of her kindness and bravery. She also didn’t attack Frankenstein, she was shocked but she listened to him. She is the most human figure in this play and is really sweet, I was really sad when she was killed but at the same time I understood how the creature felt. After the scientific killed his “wife”, he needed a revenge.
    Sadly, it only lead them to loneliness and therefore, they decided to explain to the other one what he didn’t understand, for example love to Frankenstein, by leaving the stage and going on an adventure together.

  9. However long and somewhat slow this play was, I found it to be phenomenal in terms of acting, setting, and staging. I chose to watch Benedict Cumberbatch’s version of the creature as I was familiar with his acting and was curious about how he would interpret the ‘creature’. Although I am not particularly fond of theater, it is safe to say I was not disappointed. At the very beginning when the creature awakens, its struggle to control its limbs, its gesticulation, cries of frustration when it fails to stand up, and those of joy from it finally succeeding, all give the play a realistic feel; the way these actions showed struggle, awkwardness, and graceless. Also, Benedict’s acting was in accordance with the “lightning” effect portrayed by the lamps in the air, a very ingenious, and creative way to imitate lightning.
    Overall I appreciated the play, it pushed me to interesting realizations.
    Frankenstein and the creature seem to have, at some point, switched places. The scholar and scientist lacks the ability that most Men possess: the ability to love. He pretends to know though. His creation, ironically, is the one to describe to him the feeling of love. After being abandoned by his creator, Felix is educated, he learns right from wrong, he learns the ways of men. “I have watched and listened and learned. At first, I knew nothing, but I studied the ways of men, and slowly, I learned how to ruin, how to hate, how to debase, how to humiliate […] I finally learned how to lie.” This is a sad reality, but one of many. Felix yearns for recognition and to be accepted so he assimilates the ways of men, only to receive hate and deception in return. “I did not ask to be born. But once born I will fight to live.”
    Viktor Frankenstein claimed to bring light to the darkness of the world, but the lighting in the play was mainly gloomy. It could be argued that he only brought more darkness and hate to a darkening world as it was the only emotion he understood, “hatred is what I understand”.
    The themes of love, hate, cruelty, solitude, and many more are addressed in the play. The ways they are portrayed show the different perceptions of men. An interesting play that I surprisingly enjoyed a little.

  10. In this frankenstein production of the national theater, the artistic director chose to make a contrast of the dark side and innocent side of each characters in an overall dark play. During this adaptation of the book, the creature is shown as a childish creature, but in the purest way possible. He seems very innocent when he rolls on the ground and learns for the first time. As the play goes on, his anger issues almost show that he is just really emotional and brings us pity. The whole idea enhances frankenstein’s lack of heart and humanity. It felt like a critique of the mankind and it’s will to dominate.During the play, what mostly got my attention is the setting. The multitude of bulb lights above the stage is magnificent and at times, it almost felt like the way they lit up matched the creatures feelings ( bright flashing light for when he’s afraid, warm when he’s happy and enjoying the moment ). The whole play is a bit dark and the costumes and settings reflected that. The costumes seemed baroque and had no specials colors. The mine workers that met the creature at the beginning of the play looked almost a bit steampunk with the sparks and their train/wagon.The overall setting were enhancing the moody feeling of production. I only think it’s sad that even though they were mostly in nordic countries, it wasn’t showing though the settings. I feel like the idea of making two productions was new. The fact that the two main performers were able to switch characters is incredible. Benedict cumberbatch and Jonny lee miller are very good actors and I feel like them interchanging places gave them an opportunity to really understand each characters and create a reel connection between the two. I haven’t seen both production but in the one where cumberbatch is the monster, they seemed really connected on stage. Also, I’m impressed by how the mental growth of the creature is easy to read in the actors movements. Overall, the actors were great and their personality traits well portrayed. Even though the play is dark and grotesque, the few jokes and innocent moments made it touching, mostly in the ending which seemed happy . I enjoyed watching it, first because i’m a huge fan of the actors featured in it, but also because it was well put together. The two hours passed seamlessly.

  11. Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature, is a play that I really liked and enjoyed. The story told is really sad, Frankenstein doesn’t understand his origins, where he comes from, if he has a family, why is he the way he is. He doesn’t know how to communicate, how to socialize nor either how to make friends, and because the way he looks everyone is immediately scared of him. And this is the reason why he does bad things because he is hurt, and feels lonely because no one wants him and everyone judges him. He has no love so he turns to rage. The story told in this play is really sad but it also has a really important message, to treat people equally and to not judge them by their looks, like the blind men did, he was Frankenstein’s only friend because he couldn’t see his face, he gave Frankenstein an opportunity no matter his looks or what people thought of him, and because of this Frankenstein learned how to read and talk.
    The scenario is all dark and the lights are yellow or red, warm colors that give an intriguing and chilly vibe. I really liked all the little lights in the ceiling and how they turned on and off, like someone was being electrocuted.
    The props are really professional and real, I really liked the train in the beginning and how the gears turned and there was smoke and sparks coming out, it was really realistic
    The costumes are all made of dark colors, maybe symbolizing the poor and dark moments. And the makeup was really realistic, the wounds and the stiches were so professional.
    I really enjoyed the acting of Benedict Cumberbatch as Frankenstein. In the beginning when Frankenstein is born, is amazing how can he move his body and bones like that it makes it so scary. And how he laughs like a crazy man it ‘s so creepy. The way he walks like he’s some kind of wood puppet and how he moves his face and makes those expressions, looks terrifying.

  12. Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbach as the creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor Frankenstein, I really enjoyed that play even if the begging was really creepy including that the creature’s costume was pretty realistic. The lightings were différent depending on the scene and each colour gave a different feeling upon the play. For example the red lighting in the 1rst scene made me really uncomfortable and was very oppressing the blue light gave me a feeling of mystery, the green light of spring, and the yellow light made me feel good and cozy. The costumes were very simple but the way the actors played made me forget their clothing simplicity, the performance I liked best was Benedict’ s as the creature. The green lighting which arrived later was a rather more joy full and fresh lighting, the scene was very heartwarming with the old blind men treating the creature as equal and educating it. It is in this moment that I realized that men fear the unknown and the reason that the old didn’t fear him was because he could not see this unknown. It also shows that as good as you can or want to be, rejection, rudeness, and being beaten down by society can change somebody. The creature’s dream in which he sees a girl like him is really touching because we can see how sad he is of being so lonely and even if he didn’t ask for anything he is condamed to being hated. And honestly when he said ” what is love?” I couldn’t stop crying.

  13. I actually watched the version of the play with Benedict Cumberbatch as the doctor, and I absolutely loved it. At first I didn’t know there were two versions, but when I watched parts of the second one I found I liked it less. Benedict for me will always be a smart and sophisticated character in any film, wether it is as a decipherer of codes of doctor Strange. I loved this play because it had an accurate balancing of comic relief, along with dramatic sense and a lovely take on the story line and acting. I found the beginning slightly long, but at the same time I do not see any other way it could have been better. The light show was quite simply spectacular. This play had many different sceneries, and I particularly liked the scenes where the monster was learning with the old man because it kept switching between that and the old man’s son with his wife. It was well done with shadows through the makeshift walls of the house and we could at times hear both interactions one after the other. The man and beast form one, as is said by the beast near the end of the play, and throughout the story they seem to get closer to one another and more similar, even though the beast has killed loved ones of the doctor. For example, neither can love, it was taken. I would one hundred percent recommend this play for all, it is actually full of quality, and imaginative ways of presenting scenes etc.

    Tanguy RODEN

  14. Azi’s awesome Frankenstein review (I hope)

    I absolutely adored this play, from the lighting –that is obviously a big thing in this play since it represents electricity and that is the final thing needed to bring Frankenstein’s creature to life– to the social issues that this play puts on the table. I have seen this play multiple times in the past and this time and it is one of my favourites. This version of it has definitely not done me wrong. I have to admit, the version with Benedict Cumberbatch was the one I preferred simply for the fact that I have seen him in many characters that strongly resemble Victor Frankenstein, such as Stephen Strange, or Sherlock Holmes in their lack of positive emotions such as love, and in their lack of time for anything other than their work until a traumatic event changes that. I’ll also have to say that I started the play with extremely high hopes which were strongly disappointed in the first ten minutes because that simply consisted of a man walking around struggling to get onto his feet with nothing but underwear on like a drunken man. Fortunately once that was over I completely forgot about the ten minutes of the drunken creature and enjoyed the play to the fullest.
    After the first ten minutes, we already see what type of life the creature is about to have: a life filled with chaos and hate from others. I find that part difficult to watch taking into consideration how much of an educated person he becomes after his encounter with De Lacey. De Lacey promising the creature that his son and his son’s wife will not hate him explicitly shows the importance of making promises you can actually keep, and the son and wife hating him upon seeing him could illustrate the importance of not sealing others into categories (or downright calling them the devil) based on looks.
    The sound design is ridiculously good, I made my step-sister (who used to be a student in sound design) watch this play and she loved it for that unique reason. There are noises and musical cuts that seem to have emotions of themselves, some are melancholic, some are angry and make the audience itself feel angry about the current events taking place on stage.
    The moment where Victor searches for the creature made me incredibly uncomfortable but not because of the scene, more of what comes next, the way I knew that’s where everything turns bad, where promises are broken and lives are ended (with the exception of little William).
    I feel like there’s a concept of choosing between science/the evolution of science and one’s moral compass in this play too. Should one attempt the power of a so-called “God” and make humanity never-ending, or should we stay mortal and vulnerable to sickness? I find it astonishing that 203 years ago, in 1817, we already had this idea of wanting to be immortal or to be able to revive the dead with science. Another thing that is treated in this play is the possibility of creation being more advanced than the creator, in the modern era that could be robots having a soul or emotions. Here, it seems like the creature has more emotions and characteristics that make him human than Victor does, especially at the moment where they have a discussion about love and it turns out Victor doesn’t feel love, and sadly, it seems like he never has.
    Another interesting thing that has come to my attention is that, among multiple allusions and references to the bible, anytime the creature says “ do not fear” or “do not scream”, it is the same things that angels say when they come to earth because they are impossible for the human mind to comprehend. The creature says that he sympathises with the devil, and is cast out just like the devil, who was formerly an angel. Another reference to pure holiness is snow, that beautiful white snow that falls down, glistening in the slight rays of sunlight that shine through the clouds. The snow that, throughout the play, is spoken of as falling in the beginning, settled in the middle, and melting at the end, following the betrayal of the creature: when he has not been betrayed, he sees the snow falling. After he has been betrayed, he talks of the snow that is “still on the ground”, then, after Victor betrays him, he says that the snow “melts” and “disappears”.
    The creature detests Victor yet at the end of the play makes an absolute scene about him living and dying with his creator… he makes no sense, his logic is flawed. The way he asks for forgiveness for his cruelty made me cry., I am surprised I could still see some kind of innocence in a creature that had shown so much cruelty.
    To end this review, I’d like to ask a question that comes not only from me but also from Victor Frankenstein: “Can a man be a god?”.

  15. I watched Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbach as the creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor Frankenstein, I really enjoyed the play even though the begging was really scary and the creature’s costume was pretty convincing which made it even scarier. The production was very good and it enhanced this emotional story. The scenery was different depending on the scene and each background colour was probably precisely chosen to express different feelings, it was very realistic. The sound effects were very well made and really helped the audience immerse into the play. The costumes were very simple and plain but their acting was so good that the costumes didn’t have that much of an importance. The makeup and stitches were very well made. The birth of the creature seemed very long to me but the way the actor played the role made it very intense to watch and i was very intrigued by that moment.
    Frankenstein is the main character and he doesn’t know where he comes from, why he is the way he is. He doesn’t how to exchange and communicate with people. He can’t make friends because of how he looks, people get scared. He doesn’t receive any love so he turns that into rage and that makes him do bad things.
    This play contains a moral. We understand that in society, people can judge very easily the outside before even trying to know a person from the inside and we can see it well when the blind gets to know the creature and teaches him a lot of different things. Later, he presents him to his son,and asks the creature to leave.
    The play was very nice to watch, it was touching and emotional. It was also very interesting and it has a good moral.

  16. National Theatre’s “Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller is so far the best play out of the one we had to watch.
    The decors were quite simpleso I don’t have anything to say about them but the hundreds of lightbulbs made an incredible lighting that made the play very pleasant to watch. Benedict’s makeup/prostetic was really well made and it was pretty resitant considering it had to face water.
    Benedict’s acting was very well orchestrated; its attitude really mimicked the one of an animal or a beast uncannily, in the beginning. then, after gaining knowledge, he was less “wild” but still kep some mimics.
    Now, lets talk about the story. Victor Frankenstein created a man like creature out of dead body parts, it fled and met a blind men who couldn’t see his ugliness. During one year he learned how to talk, read and wright and became very smart (philosophy). The man had a married son but when they met It, they got frightened and made him go away. As a revenge, he burnt their house while they wer in it, so they died. He then managed to find his creator and asked him to make him a bride and after an argument on if or if not he and she won’t hurt humanity and if they have human traits, Victor agreed but, when he was on the edge of finishing his creation, he killed her, making It as angry as it was sad. As a revenge, he killed the women Victor was engaged to. They ended up chasing eachother for eternity.
    This story questions if the improvements in science don’t endanger human rights and the ethics of humans wanting to be god hence it questions god’s existance and it’s role in gaving a conscience, reason, empaphy… to living creatures.

  17. Frankenstein was originally written by Mary Shelley however, the writer had to fight to get her name on the book’s cover as a feminine writer wasn’t supposed to write horror stories.
    The novel was adapted to the National Theater stage, directed by Danny Boyle starring Benedict Cumberbatch (as the doctor) and Jonny Lee Miller (as the creature).

    What is very particular about this play is not necessarily the story, the plot stays loyal to the original story, but the scenery.
    Indeed, the theater takes the shapes of an antic roman theater; the stage is circular which allows the audience to be sitten from one side to another. The audience is even more immersed in the play thanks to the decor elements such as a gigantic roof made out of lamps, trains tracks, rain coming down from the theater’s roof.
    Furthermore, the stage is built on two circles which one is removable.
    All these different movements make the play even more realistic and add another dimension to the scenery… A bit like a 4-D attraction!

    Coming back to the story, we are pushed to ask ourselves certain questions. For example, just like the creator of his creature, we are impressed by the evolution and the creature’s ability to learn from our world.
    However, the public is immediately frightened when the ‘man’ admits to identifying himself with Adam, near hell, and therefore burns the family which had educated him.
    It shows how empathy and mercy are two things we learn from life as we grow up and not from books.

    All along with the show, the audience wobbles between pity for the creature who is rejected from all while all he claims for is love and fear because he acts without mercy (kills a child, his own family…)

    Finally, this play, as old the original story is, tackles with modernity subjects that are still relevant. Such as, how our societies aren’t open to differences.

  18. I watched the version with B.Cumberbatch as the doctor.
    The first thing that absolutely striked me was the quality of the setting which was absolutely astonishing. The ceiling was a beautiful artwork that added a lot of intensity to the play especially in the first scene where it would change at the same time as the creature was moving, creating an interesting harmony between the setting and the comedians. The train was also very sophisticated and was very entertaining to watch. Moreover, all the climatic aspects of the story were represented onstage such as the snow, the rain as well as fire. What I particularly appreciated while watching this play was the way the comedians would evolve across the stage. Indeed there were a large variety of actors and I happened to find very interesting their way to use the space that they were given. There also was a kind of contemporary dancing dimension that I really enjoyed throughout the play, such as in the first scene and the scene with the train. I really liked all the different settings and found them really appropriate for each scene.
    This was a great and intense adaptation of Frankenstein.

  19. Last week, I watch the play Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch.
    I really like it because the story has a really deep message. This message is that people are judging everybody to fast. This is the nature of the human race. Most of the humans are judging to fast instead of discovering the thing. Here, in the play, we can see that the people are judging the creature because of his ugly appearence. They are judging before knowing the person. I think this isn’t the good way to think because when we begin to talk with someone, you begin to know this person and most of the time, you can see that appearances aren’t representing reality.
    On the other hand, I really liked the play because of the moving stage. This stage was full of differents settings which help us to follow and to appreciate the play. The stage was moving but it has also the particularity that its center can be elevated. This thing is really interesting because thanks to that, the important moments of the play which took place on this elevator were highlighted.
    To add more, I really like the acting way of Benedict Cumberbatch. I really enjoyed it because he is able to have the perfect attitude in every single moment of the play. For me, this man is one of the best in his discipline.

    To conclude, I really liked this play because it’s giving a strong message illustrated by a really good setting and with really qualitative actors.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *