We’ve got a really exciting “Watch Together” event coming up for you this week.

Come and join us for the National Theatre’s stunning production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.

Filmed live in 2011 from the stage of the National Theatre in London, this thrilling, sold-out production became an international sensation, watched by more than 800,000 people in cinemas around the world.

Now the show is being streamed for audiences everywhere to enjoy thanks to National Theatre At Home, an initiative intended to foster the love of live theatre in these challenging times and raise funds for the Theatre.

You show will be available to view for one week starting on Thursday 30th April at 7pm.

You can watch it right here.

About the Show

While the image of Frankenstein that most people would have today probably owes more to the horror films of the 1930’s starring Boris Karlof as a lumbering giant with an extended forehead and electrodes protruding from his neck than the original novel by Mary Shelley; this production manages to successfully resurrect “the creature” and restore it to its true gothic romantic origins.

Conceived on a rainy afternoon in 1816, Mary Shelley was just 18 years old when she created the story of Frankenstein while staying with her future husband, the poet Shelley, their friend Lord Byron and Lord Byron’s physician, John Polidori in Geneva. The group had travelled through Europe along the river Rhine in Germany stopping in Gernsheim, just a short distance from the actual Frankenstein Castle, where two centuries before, an alchemist had engaged in strange experiments. The party then journeyed to the region of Geneva in Switzerland, where much of the Frankenstein story takes place. Trapped indoors by the inclement weather, the friends passed the time telling and writing ghost stories. The ideas for both Frankenstein, and Polidori’s The Vampyre, which was published in 1819, were both born that day.

The novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818. Shelley was eventually credited as the author when the book was republished in Paris the following year.  

This version of the story directed by Academy Award-winner Danny Boyle returns to Shelley’s original narrative. The story explores philosophical themes and challenges Romantic ideals about the beauty and goodness of nature. The gentle, intellectually gifted creature, cruelly rejected by its creator wanders from place to place, seeking companionship and becoming increasingly brutal as it fails to find a home.

As you might expect from a director of Boyle’s calibre the play features some of the most incredibly evocative and imaginative set pieces ever seen on the stage of the National. The effect is filmic in scale while maintaining the rawness and immediacy of live theatre.

Another imaginative feature of the show comes in two lead actors, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, alternating between the roles of Victor Frankenstein and his creation. The two actors taking it in turns to play the roles on alternate nights.

The show is one of the best to come out of the National Theatre in the last twenty years and this is an opportunity to enjoy this thrilling production that definitely shouldn’t be missed.