Today’s NT Live Frankenstein Fan Profile comes from Isabella via Woodside Park, London. What resonated with us about her story was the description of that theatrical moment where you transform from being a patron of the theatre to a lover of the theatre. We all have our show that propelled this transition — Isabella’s happens to be Frankenstein…
Well, Frankenstein caused my first trip to the National Theatre, my first trip actually ended up being to see Season’s Greetings! But I managed to get a pair of brilliant return tickets, Benedict as Creature and Jonny as Frankenstein.
We arrived, I walked into the Olivier for the first time, the spread of the set actually brought tears to my eyes (no, seriously, how embarrassing! But if you were there, you’d totally understand!), i jumped every time i heard the bell toll, and for the 90 or so minutes i was totally immersed, i have never experienced theatre like it. So straight after i ran round to the stage door and got chatting to two lovely girls. One of whom has become one of my best friends, we now live at the theatre (mostly the NT!) together, seeing musicals and plays, we managed to grab seats to see Johnny as Creature a few weeks later, then saw Andrew Scott ruling the stage in Emperor and Galilean. I’m studying to be a set designer, if you asked me two years ago what i wanted to design, i’d have probably said for film and tv, now, because of Frankenstein, it’s the Theatre.
The first day the screenings went on sale, we booked together to see both versions. I can’t quite describe how important this show has been to me, but it did, indirectly, actually CHANGE my life! It was also a damned good play! Having the chance to see the same production with two very unique performances, Benedict’s animalistic, painful movement against Jonny’s childlike rocking, picking up his foot and sucking his toe. Against the steampunk industrial revolution, thumping carnal music by Underworld, compared to the kind-hearted warm patience of Karl Johnson as the blind De Lacey, the fear and awe of the creature’s birth and the painful interlocking of creator and creation, forever tortured, forever inseparable.
A modern masterpiece created from Victorian invention
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