Imagre courtesy of the National Theatre Website
LtoR: Benedict Cumberbath, Johnny Lee Miller
We made a pact to go back next Wednesday when the other version will be screened. This is a show I am going to love twice.
There are many occasions when we see National Theatre Live this way and someone in the party says, “I think that was the best play I have seen in my life”. Last night it was Tonia’s turn to say the phrase.
On the drive home we all tried to say three things that we loved about the performance. Kelvin said that he liked the precision of the dialogue. No word said that didn’t advance the plot. Tonia was amazed at the ability of Cumberbatch to stay in character for the 2 ½ hour performance. She conjoined that with the amazing costuming, a category which included the make-up on the creature's body – the wig, the scarring, the bruising.
I am the person who has already seen the other version last year. I must have seen it alone. Perhaps with someone else? It was one of those evenings where I only remember what was going on in front of me on the screen.
Still, I am going back to see that original version next Wednesday, now that version 2 is fresh in my mind. The interaction between the creature and Frankenstein is supported by other vignettes: the coming of mechanization, as illustrated by the scene with the railroad train; the one-room farm house where Frankenstein learns to speak and read; the manufacturing of a human soul and the dark comedic grave-diggers; and the wedding night scene that encapsulating the dictomy of love and hate.
Emma Freud’s pithy introduction set the scene. A small video reminded us of the dangerous inherent in cloning the human body. The three of us had a night to remember.
For more, go read at the National Theatre website.