It does take skill to adapt Mary Shelley’s gothic classic Frankenstein for the stage without turning it into a caricature of the Boris Karloff films. But that is exactly what director extraordinaire Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), and screen writer Nick Dear, managed to do.
Their Frankenstein, which had its original run from February until May 2011 at the National Theatre in London, is a true theatrical masterpiece, both thrilling and thought-provoking.
So popular was the play’s original run that Encore screenings of a recorded performance have been shown worldwide every year since 2011. The two lead actors, Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, War Horse, The Hobbit) and Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary, Trainspotting, Dark Shadows) alternated nightly between the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation.
This version starred Benedict Cumberbatch as The Creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Frankenstein, and it’s one of those rare performances that is so powerful and thought-provoking that it needs to be digested for a while before all the facets of the play’s brilliance fit together like a puzzle.