Stephanie's Reviews > Frankenstein, Based on the Novel by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein, Based on the Novel by Mary Shelley by Nick Dear
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, play-script

** spoiler alert ** I did not get to see this production live, sadly, but the performances were recorded and broadcasted in theaters around the world. I first saw it in 2012 and then again in November 2013. It sells out fast and was requested to be shown again by popular demand.

I love that Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller alternated their roles each night. It's not something we see a lot and you get a chance to see how each plays the same roles differently from the other and how they play off each other when they switch.

It runs for 2 hours with no intermission.

When BC played Dr. Frankenstein I felt he was very proud. He stood tall, he was eloquent and graceful. He thought he was a god and had this pride about him because he found God's secret. It made me more angry at him for abandoning his creature.

When JLM played the doctor I felt he was more of a mad scientist who believed his scientific breakthrough was better than God. He moved about in an erratic manner and his voice was hoarse. (Though that could have been from the strain from performing. Either way it added to his performance.)

Each way they played the Creature really fit their body types. BC is tall and lean so he studied men going through physical therapy to learn how to walk again. In the beginning he was very floppy and as time progresses he becomes more controlled and his speech more articulate.

JLM studied his 2 year old son and mimicked him for the role of the Creature. He drooled a lot, grunted more, and his speech was more of a stammer. I also felt he was more of an angry and violent child when he committed the murders. JLM was much more aggressive when he snapped the neck of one of his victims.

I really would love to see this on Broadway with the same cast and director (Danny Boyle).
I loved the play by Nick Dear so much I bought the book from amazon UK. (I did read the book by Mary Shelley years ago in high school. While I loved the morality and ethical concepts and the sci-fi aspect, I disliked her style of writing.)

Dr. Frankenstein is a monster himself and he created the Creature in his image. Frankenstein was a prideful man who saw the Creature as nothing more than an equation to solve without considering that he would be a sentient being with feelings and the capability to become an educated man. So out of fear he abandons the Creature, leaving him to die.
Frankenstein takes no responsibility. I may not understand why Elisabeth chose to be with a man who ignores her and then had a nervous breakdown, but she had it right. Frankenstein does not take responsibility for anything and he has defied God. Because of this, their world is in chaos. If he wanted to create life he could have done so with her, but he thought he was better than God and the natural order of life.

So what does the Creature learn in the cruel world? After trying to be part of society he learns he is hated. He is beaten and cast out. He's lonely and unloved. How depressing. So the Creature seeks his creator so that he can make him a mate. He wants a friend to love and who would love him in return.

I think Frankenstein destroyed the female creature out jealousy more than any other reason he debated. He was jealous that his Creature was more capable of love than himself. He destroyed every chance of love that came his way and hatred is what he knows.

The saddest part is that if Frankenstein had not abandoned his Creature, the Creature would have loved him. If he had known love instead of rejection and hate he would have become a good man. But Frankenstein was not a good man. The Creature was made in his image and thus they both know hatred and revenge. That is what drives the forward. That is how they will live out their days.

I really like that concept that we're a blank slate and what shapes us nature and nurture together.
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Reading Progress

December 30, 2013 – Started Reading
December 30, 2013 – Shelved
December 30, 2013 – Finished Reading
May 1, 2016 – Shelved as: favorites
August 5, 2017 – Shelved as: play-script

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