‘A Monster Hit’ – Review of Frankenstein


That quote as the title, taken from ‘Time Out’ does not give justice to the amazement my eyes just saw. I have just witnessed the encore screening of Danny Boyle’s adaptation for the stage of ‘Frankenstein’ shown at Uckfield Picture House and other cinemas across the UK as part of the National Theatre.

Mary Shelly’s original is undoubtably a narrative beyond its time and Boyle’s new creation creates a distort and unbelievable production. The staging is original, unique and so simple it’s complex. I say this because of the limited props on stage at any time, but how this created a new world to the audience to view moveable scenery, a revolving stage and a forever flowing performance scene after scene.

Now I only say this on screen of the live performance and not the physical experience of being there myself, much as I would have love to. But this opportunity put forward by the National Theatre is one to take advantage of! Especially for a drama and media student like myself. Starring the remarkable Benedict Cumberbatch, who you and I must love from ‘Sherlock’, this brings him into a new level of powerful acting. I saw him as the monster, but the actor himself changes roles on performances with the incredible Jonny Lee Miller. Both actors were like brothers, but the creature and the creator portrayed some of the best acting I have ever seen. Once the play had finished I realised I was actually in a cinema and not caught up in a corrupt cruel world.

Studying the gothic genre in English Literature this year I will luckily be studying Frankenstein and find this an inspiration to my work and a starting point for what I think will become one of my most passionately loved stories. I recommend to you all to see this if you have a chance: or any of the National Theatre plays, it’s a whole new experience and revolution in what on-screen and in theatre can create, where will we go next?

On the official website I looked up whether a DVD of the production will be made:

‘We have no plans to release a DVD. We know from letters, tweets and emails that a great many people wanted another chance to see the production – and these encore screenings have been scheduled in response to that huge public demand. Our rights arrangements with actors and crew don’t currently permit DVD release, and we’re also keen for as many people as possible to experience the broadcasts in the format for which they were created: broadcast in HD to cinemas.’


I can tell them now if they do make a DVD this is something I will watch over and over and over and over again. I believe something new can be found in it every time.

Before the play itself was shown a small film on behind the scenes in rehearsal was shown which was a huge insight into creating the world on stage. To be part of that workshop must have been thrilling.

This is something that has changed my view on acting on stage and spilled my imagination on ideas for my drama devised piece for my exam this year.

By Alice Stansfield.

Alice Stansfield your friendly neighbourhood blogger!  http://www.youtube.com/user/HisLittleEmo

Feel free to Tweet me if you have any questions or feedback  @hislittleemoo

Everyday I’m Tumblrin  http://wonderlandreject.tumblr.com/

More productions can be found here: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/ntlive

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4 thoughts on “‘A Monster Hit’ – Review of Frankenstein

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch really is an amazing actor, I am a Sherlock fan and really looking forward to series 3. It is great that in between the series Benedict Cumberbatch is on stage – and in such an apt play. You have really made me want to see this! I think the talent on our stages in the UK is astounding 🙂 oh and the fact that Danny Boyle is directing? Genius!

    1. Oh I can’t wait for series 3 already done a Sherlock vlog on my theory of how he will come back xD Such a cliffhanger! I know it is such a perfect combination 😀

    1. I really recommended it I loved it and Benedict was amazing a man I would love to meet 😀

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