How best to capture the mirrored, tortured psyches of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature within 61 brief seconds? National Theatre Live’s Frankenstein trailer intercuts dialogue between Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch in a snippet showcasing both actors in both roles. A difficult feat within such a short time frame—but the trailer allows discerning viewers to better understand Miller’s and Cumberbatch’s embodiment of each role. Nuanced speech, an abortive twist or stretch, morphing faces, flashes of insight—based on evidence in this trailer, it’s no wonder the play has become London’s hottest ticket. Although reviews based on preview performances have been mixed, reviews of the official opening (on February 22 and 23, to allow reviewers and audiences to see each actor playing both roles over the course of two nights) should soon indicate if preview problems were resolved. Based on even this brief trailer, whether the play is brilliant or flawed, director Danny Boyle’s, playwright Nick Dear’s, and the actors’ Creation is a worthy experiment.
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It’s been a tale of two princes in English theatre this year, with Rory Kinnear’s take on the Dane at London’s National vying for first place with John Simm’s interpretation at Sheffield’s newly revamped Crucible. Simm’s angry, witty, spiky Hamlet has received mixed reviews, but he and a strong supporting cast succeed in bringing out the rich humour in what is undoubtedly one of the most psychologically complex of Shakespeare’s plays. Eminently quotable and reworkable, too—I counted at least five film titles in there…
60 years ago this week: One of the seminal moments in musical theatre history transpired with the opening of Rodgers Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music on Broadway. That first production, starring Mary Martin and Theodore Bikel, ended up running for 1,443 performances and spawned the massively popular 1965 film and countless movie theatre sing-a-longs since then.
Mary Martin singing “The Sound of Music”
And the movie trailer…
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