Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature - National Theatre

This was such a great production. I loved it!

Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature - National Theatre

Well all I can say now after watching this is get rid of your traditional ideas of Frankenstein, cast away the dated green 6ft man with a bolt in his neck, and strap in for the epic adaptation of Shelley’s renowned novel.

The Creature’s birthing scene opens the play as a spectacularly uncanny and highly uncomfortable introduction. Emerging from this womb, the reality of the ‘birth’ of this disfigured full-grown man seizes the audience in the moment.

Alone and tentatively exploring the world, Cumberbatch moves in almost inhuman  ways , highlighting a very expertly mismatched construction of his body. The inharmonious movement of his limbs reinforces the monstrosity of the creature’s incompatible patched up body parts.

This almost 10 minute ‘birth’ is an excruciating yet bizarre experience, watching as the Creature grows into the world.

Boyle and Dear present the Creature as discovering elemental truths throughout this birth, echoing a journey of mankind, exploring the basics of weather and fire for example, portraying the primal, ultimately human experience of this subhuman creature. This is consistent throughout as Cumberbatch’s intricate facial expressions and bodily twitching never fail to remind the audience of his monstrosity.

Once again, the National Theatre has excelled with the set design of this production, sparing no expense the stylishly constructed scenes and effects range from producing weathers, burning homes, the icy landscapes of the arctic, replicating Northern Lights and the unforgettable cocoon like womb.  Overall, this production is a must watch and is a thumbs up from me. I would tell you more, but I don't want to reveal too much because it may ruin the experience for you. So you only have one thing to do, Go and watch it! 

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Dominik Betts-Nicholson

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1 Comments

  • Ali Muzaffar

    On 16 February 2021, 18:46 Ali Muzaffar Kickstart Team commented:

    I've seen a few adaptations of Frankenstein, but Benedict Cumberbatch's incarnation definitely sounds like a fresh take on Shelley's original work! I would love to watch this production at some point soon

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