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Danny Boyle's FRANKENSTEIN

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch (PBS Sherlock Holmes) and Jonny Lee Miller (Eli Stone and, in the fall, US Sherlock Holmes in Elementary).

It's the National Theatre (UK) production that won so many awards. NTLive broadcast it to cinemas in the States last year, and now they're doing an encore.

Cumberbatch and Miller each play Frankenstein and the Creature: they switch roles on alternating nights. Last night I saw Cumberbatch as the Creature and Miller as Frankenstein, and it was, well, breathtaking. An astounding piece of theater.

Though I'm not sure I want to sit through it again tonight just to see them switch roles.

If you haven't seen it, you might be interested in catching it tonight, if it's showing near you.

by Anonymousreply 4410/31/2013

[quote]Jonny Lee Miller

AKA The First Mr Angelina Jolie.

by Anonymousreply 106/07/2012

I was so disappointed Cumberbatch had the loincloth on at the beginning. The regular stage version was full monty.

by Anonymousreply 206/07/2012

I saw the version billed as "Original Casting" (Cumberbatch = Creature, Miller = Frankenstein) last night and I'm going to see the "Reverse Casting" version tonight. I kind of would have liked a break between them because it's a tragedy in the epic mode and I haven't quite emotionally recovered yet from being purged of my terror and pity. But I'm also curious to see what the actors will do with the other roles and to have another look at how the show is put together. It's by far the best adaptation of the source material I've seen. Mary Shelley's novel is a great book but it's not exactly a good book, and I think Nick Dear solves a lot of the problems that were in the original, such as acknowledging that Frankenstein is an asshole and switching it from being his story to the Creature's. Tons o' contemporary sociopolitical overtones too, which me likey a lot.

Funny thing though...no peen. The British reviewers all mention that the Creature appears nude, but in last night's version Bennie was wearing a modest breechclout. I think the National Theatre decided that an American audience wouldn't be able to handle seeing male genitalia at its neighborhood multiplex and sadly I think they're right.

by Anonymousreply 306/07/2012

You mean the Brits got to see both of 'em NEKKID?

{swoon} I believe I am getting the vapors.

by Anonymousreply 406/07/2012

[quote]I think the National Theatre decided that an American audience wouldn't be able to handle seeing male genitalia at its neighborhood multiplex and sadly I think they're right.

And not every actor wants their genitalia preserved forever on film.

by Anonymousreply 506/07/2012

R3, I would love to hear your impression of the differences in their performances -- their different approaches to the same parts -- after you see tonight's showing.

by Anonymousreply 606/07/2012

Both actors were fully nude for the stage play, but wore some kind of undergarment on the nights when it was being filmed/broadcast live in cinemas. I guess they didn't want that level of nudity (whomever plays the Creature rolls and dances around naked for quite some time and shows everything) being captured on film. I don't think it has anything to do with American audiences since the original British cinema screenings didn't get nudity either. They probably didn't know when they chose that play to be part of NT Live that it would go on to screen abroad.

by Anonymousreply 706/07/2012

I just got back from seeing the Reverse Casting version. Benedict kicked Jonny's ass. I'm sorry, there's no comparison. Bennie was GREAT in both roles. Jonny was just adequate.

by Anonymousreply 806/07/2012

just saw it too. loved it!!! didn't even recognize naomi harris

by Anonymousreply 906/07/2012

I just don't think I'd be able to handle onstage live nudity. I'd have to gasp or giggle or something. Am I alone here or does this occur during live performances?

by Anonymousreply 1006/07/2012

[R8]Thanks for the comments. I saw the reverse casting tonight but didn't see the other casting last night. I asked two women outside who had seen it, and they agreed with you totally - no comparison. They both said Benedict's monster made them cry. I thought he was magnificent as the doctor and that Miller was excellent, but I would have loved to compare the performance to Cumberbatch's

by Anonymousreply 1106/07/2012

I saw both versions last night and tonight, and saw the previous screenings last year.

I loved it, and thought that BC was superior in both roles. Somehow, he added an extra creepy note to the scene with Elizabeth when he's telling her she'll be a beautiful bride.

I think the lack of nudity had more to do with the camera angles they were using; in a theater, you'd never get that, uh, up close and personal with the actors' anatomy, and they do a lot of movements that would be extremely revealing.

by Anonymousreply 1206/07/2012

Sorry I meant [R8]

by Anonymousreply 1306/07/2012

I am SOOOO pissed that I pissed this!

by Anonymousreply 1406/07/2012

Oops - "missed this."

by Anonymousreply 1506/07/2012

They are adding additional showings in some areas, in case others are interested.

It is really worth the effort to see. I'll continue to ask NTLive to release this on DVD (they've gone back and forth on the issue).

Yes, I am a BC fan. He won me over when I was determined to hate the updated Sherlock. Yes, he's odd-looking, but he can do anything.

by Anonymousreply 1606/08/2012

Saw this yesterday (BC as Frankenstein, Miller as the creature). One of the most affecting artistic experiences I've had in a long time. Dear (playwright) dared to ask all the hard questions and the acting was breathtaking. Cumberbatch is worth all the hype. He is a tremendous talent.

by Anonymousreply 1706/11/2012

It's ridiculous that they have to change the nudity just for Americans.

by Anonymousreply 1806/11/2012

The addition of flesh-colored shorts was not done just for the Americans. NT Live is broadcast all over the globe.

If spitting on the sidewalk can get you imprisoned in Singapore, imagine what broadcasting male genitals would get the cinema owners or projectionists! The costume addition also prevents cinemas from having to card individuals or deny entry to any under-18s.

If go to movies just to see nudity, then this is not the show for you. If you want to see two great performances (both JLM and BC won the Olivier for Best Actor this year), then definitely see the show.

by Anonymousreply 1906/11/2012

Why do they keep pushing Benedict Cumberbatch? What's so great about this guy?

by Anonymousreply 2006/11/2012

My parents saw this on stage, not sure who played which role, but they would not stop singing it's praises for weeks afterwards.

by Anonymousreply 2106/11/2012

I think there were reports here last year from posters in the UK who saw it on stage saying Benedict Cumberbatch has a small uncut cock.

by Anonymousreply 2206/11/2012

R20 Very Shortly BC will nick a great prime time Programme from American's...

by Anonymousreply 2306/11/2012

Just wanted to add that in addition to the acting, the staging was very creative. I can't wait to see what Danny Boyle does for the London Olympic opening ceremonies. He's a visionary.

by Anonymousreply 2406/11/2012

Isn't BC overexposed? He seems to be turning up everywhere.

by Anonymousreply 2506/11/2012

R22, I remember those observations, and I think that speaks to BC's fearlessness as an actor. I mean, it's easy when you're Fassbender to "put yourself out there." Takes a bit more courage for an actor of average endowment.

by Anonymousreply 2606/11/2012

Benedict Cumberbatch is an amazing actor and a beautiful man. This is not the raving of a rabid fan. It is a fact.

by Anonymousreply 2706/11/2012

I suppose that's true, R26. Goodness knows practically any actor that does nudity is criticized over his size. Whenever I see a photo or a film with a mainstream actor who goes naked, there are always a bunch of size queens complaining that he isn't hung like Jeff Stryker.

by Anonymousreply 2806/11/2012

[quote] {swoon} I believe I am getting the vapors.

Then take some Mylanta, because "the vapors" means you have trapped gas. That's why women fainted and that's why they had to "lie down" in between lunch and dinner. They were going to their rooms to undo their whalebone corsets so they could fart.

by Anonymousreply 2906/11/2012

We Cumberbitches bought out the theater on several occasions, so tough toenails to those of you that missed it.

by Anonymousreply 3006/11/2012

Did you see his cock, R30? If so, please describe it.

And please describe whether you see Jonny Lee Miller naked.

by Anonymousreply 3106/11/2012

As far as I'm concerned, Cumberbatch can't be in enough! I love him. I'm currently watching a show he did with Hugh Laurie some years ago, Forty Something, and then I'm moving on to his Stephen Hawking - I plan on seeing everything.

Frankly I'd be happier if he just did Sherlock and we could more than three episodes a season, but I'll take what I can get.

When I went to the National Theatre film showing, there were tons of young women in the audience. Although the Frankenstein is sensational, I wonder if it would have been brought back to the states for a second time if it hadn't been for him.

by Anonymousreply 3206/11/2012

His eyebrows think they're eyelashes.

by Anonymousreply 3306/12/2012

I don't get the hype over 'Sherlock', and I don't look forward to having to see Martin Freeman in 'The Hobbit' either. Why did they have to cast him as Bilbo? Couldn't they have found someone different?

by Anonymousreply 3406/12/2012

Cumberbatch and Miller were excellent, the rest of the cast was amateurish, Victor's father in particular. The staging of things like the grass, the rain and the birds was beautiful but this huge fake steampunk steam engine arriving was like a bad Miss Saigon helicopter moment. It's worth seeing for the performance of the leads.

by Anonymousreply 3506/12/2012

When did you see it, R35? This year or last year?

by Anonymousreply 3606/12/2012

Benedict gave a once in a lifetime performance. I haven't been as moved by a performance in decades. Ad what he does in those first 5 minutes is beyond human.Never heard of him before and now, forevermore!

by Anonymousreply 3706/12/2012

Going to see it in an hour & a half.

by Anonymousreply 3806/14/2012

I was lucky enough to see both JLM and BC play the Creature on stage last year. BC was in another league, both as the Creature and as Frankenstein. JLM was very good but BC was simply incandescent.

If you get a chance to see it, do.

by Anonymousreply 3906/14/2012

I wish they would bring this to Broadway.

by Anonymousreply 4010/10/2012

Will this be available on DVD? Movie theatres are all just potential sniper zones.

by Anonymousreply 4110/10/2012

Firstly - COMPLETELY BREATHTAKING PERFORMANCE! I completely understand why there wasn't full nudity in the filmed performance. I have literally just come back from watching it and with the filmed performance there are a lot of, well... Closeups. I don't the lack of nudity was to protect any potentially prudish audience members but rather to protect the modesty of the actors. With a live performance, any nudity is easily forgotten not long after you've left the theatre. Each moment when you're physically sitting in a theatre watching a performance is captivating but fleeting and hurls you into an alternate reality where even sexy naked guys running around in front of you may not even seem like it's happening in the same room. I respect the choice to have the actors covered but this fails to satisfy the creepy pervert within me who could have really benefited from spying some Johnny Cream Filling or Bendydick Comeonmybaps. Damn.

by Anonymousreply 4210/31/2013

Which way was it filmed? Miller as monster or doctor?

by Anonymousreply 4310/31/2013

probably not r41...the National Theatre doesn't release stuff on DVD usually. (but this one could be different, could be very commercial they'd be smart to release it BUT there might be union laws against it.)

by Anonymousreply 4410/31/2013
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