Road Trip and a Play

Last week, my friend, Amber, and I made a little road trip to Ft. Worth to see a production of Frankenstein.   The play, directed by Danny Boyle and based on Mary Shelley's novel, Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus (She was only eighteen years old when she wrote it!) was performed last year at the National Theatre in London.   It was a huge success with audiences and critics.   Two of the performances were filmed live for limited broadcast on screens in cinemas around the world.   The Museum of Modern Art was one of the viewing locations in Texas.

Museum of Modern Art

It was an amazing play.   I only wish I could have seen it live in the theatre.   Actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated the roles of Dr. Frankenstein and the Creature each evening the play was performed.   The production we saw on screen featured Cumberbatch as The Creature and Miller as Victor Frankenstein.   Their performances were brilliant.   Cumberbatch's physicality as an actor, as he completely becomes a character, always astounds me.  

Miller as The Creature and Cumberbatch as Victor Frankenstein

Cumberbatch as The Creature and Miller as Victor Frankenstein
 The round stage construction, lighting, and soundscape were amazing.  The stage center revolved and collapsed in sections to set the stage for a new scene.   Water fell from above for rain and a magnificent chandelier above pulsed with the rhythms of life and action.    I can only imagine how powerful the play would have been in person. 

The play captured all the major themes of Shelly's original work, leaving me to think on the sanctity of all human life, ethics in science and the ways people hurt each other and corrupt one another.  It captured the true horror of the original tale, while showing how relevant a work it is to our current society.   What beautiful gifts are literature and art.    What a responsibility we have to support them and learn from them.

Benedict Cumberbatch as The Creature--being "born"

National Theatre Live trailer


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