Currently mid-season at the National Theatre is Danny Boyle’s stage production of Nick Dear’s Frankenstein. The big talking point of his approach is that on various dates and times, the roles of Frankenstein and his creation will be swapped between actors Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Several people I know to be going have decided not to find out which way round the cast will be for their performance; others have decided to go twice and see both iterations (buying their second ticket with the first – which is to say, before they’ve even seen the play).
The production is also due for cinema screenings in March, at “various venues internationally”. You can look up where abouts on the NT Live website.
Here’s a trailer that the NT have unveiled in order to promote the production, perhaps with an angle on selling its cinema transmission more than the live event itself.
Now, I haven’t seen the play but I’m having trouble grasping just what it is this casting conceit adds. What does it mean that creator and monster are the same person, or somehow interchangeable? I’m not sure this adds up for me. If you’ve seen the play, perhaps you can fill me in.