Category Archives: Review

National Theatre’s Frankenstein: The Role Reversal

It is not very often that you get to watch a play in which the two lead actors switch roles every night. It’s rarer still to be able to watch both performances and then compare how the actors approached the characters. Yet that’s exactly what you are able to do with The National Theatre’s 2011 play Frankenstein.

Last week, I went to an encore screening of Frankenstein, that featured Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, The Imitation Game, Third Star) as The Creature and Jonny Lee Miller (Elementary, Endgame, Eli Stone) as Victor Frankenstein.

Yesterday, they showed the play with reverse cast,which means that Benedict Cumberbatch became the mad scientist while Jonny Lee Miller became his creation.

It’s amazing to see two takes on the same role. While both have the set script and actions to adhere to, the way they portray their characters differs greatly.

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ROW80 and NaNoWriMo Halfway Update

It’s Sunday, so here’s a new update for A Round of Words in 80 Days as well as National Novel Writing Month.

It’s all going very well, all things considered. NaNoWriMo is at the halfway mark and I just surpassed 35,000 words, so I am well on track. If I continue like this, I could reach the 50,000 word goal by 23rd November.

So cue the music:

Living on a prayer

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Thrilling and thought-provoking: Frankenstein at the National Theatre, Encore Screening

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.

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ROW80 Mid-Week update

It’s already time for another mid-week ROW80 update.

First of all, my studies are going well. After a hiccup with the university and the courses I was enrolled in (one professor didn’t answer any student emails), it’s all sorted now. I’ve also got a plan in place to keep me focused on my studying, so that is excellent!

I’m also doing the free Start Writing Fiction course at the Open University. I’m a bit behind in that, but luckily it’s easy to catch up within a reasonable timeframe. I should be all caught up by the time I go to bed tonight.

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Studying vs. Soup Bowls

Having a study routine is all nice and good, but you also need the discipline to sit down and actually study.

Some of us love the pressure of a looming deadline. Nothing like the “Last 60 Minutes” to type that 10-page paper. Others can keep to a routine until they get distracted and completely derail their train of thought. Yet someone else might be all for studying, but finds the subject hard or boring, and is, therefore, less inclined to study for it and give it the attention it needs.

Last night, I spoke to my dad about my M.A. Cross-Cultural Communication course I’m currently studying for online. And dad actually had a pretty cool study tip up his sleeve from his own experience.

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Energetic and intimate theatre – Richard III at Trafalgar Studios, London

This is one of my real-life writing samples. I’m a trained journalist, so I sometimes write theatre reviews. This one I’m particularly proud of, as it combined a trip to London (I’m based in Germany), my favourite actor and Shakespeare.

It’s a review of Trafalgar Transformed Season 2: “Richard III” at Trafalgar Studios, London, which ran from 1st July 2014 until 27th September 2014, starring Martin Freeman.

First published on Fernweh & Wanderlust on 27th July 2014.

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