National Theatre Live's Frankenstein Trailer is a Worthy Experiment

by Lynnette Porter

24 February 2011


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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