Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Nick Dear
Johnny Lee Miller
Runtime: 135 mins
Australian release date: 9 June 2012 (re-release)
Previewed at: Dendy Opera Quays, Sydney, on 9 April 2011.
Danny Boyle’s Frankenstein is part of the National Theatre Live screenings from London. It’s a play by Nick Dear based on Mary Shelley’s novel, with the Creature and Victor Frankenstein being played by both Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller on alternate screenings over a two weekend period. It is always difficult to film live theatre performances successfully however the NT Live series is an exception and, under Boyle’s direction, this particular production makes the transition from stage to screen admirably, leaving you feeling as if you were part of the theatre audience. The roles are brilliantly handled by both principal actors, and they’re well-supported by a cast that includes George Harris as Victor’s father and Naomie Harris as Elizabeth Lavenza, Victor’s fiancée.
Boyle is well known for his Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire and his most recent film 127 Hours and he’s now pulled off this theatrical/cinematic triumph. He succeeds in breathing new life (pun intended) into Shelley’s tale of good and evil and the result is a thrilling rendition of her deeply disturbing gothic classic. It’s little wonder that this production was billed as one of the hottest tickets in London when it was first performed. It is well worth the price of the ticket to see the best of British theatre without forking out for the plane fare!