Danny Boyle can't get enough of Frankenstein
Or so it seems as he was in the audience for last night's performance at the National Theatre. Checking up on his monster hit perhaps? Bet he didn't have to start queueing at 6am for day seats.
It did make me curious though. Does he sit there spotting things that have changed over the weeks of performances and making mental notes to pass on to the cast or crew? Or think 'mmm would have like to have done something different there'? Will it have lost its lustre in repeated viewing like seeing your favourite DVD for the 20th time and starting to spot the flaws? Does he actually enjoy watching it?
He didn't applaud particularly vigorously but then it might have been strange if he had.
It also got me thinking about whether he has preferences for the casting - not that he'd ever admit it I'm sure. But he could be forgiven for, say, preferring Benedict Cumberbatch as Victor and Jonny Lee Miller as the creature or vice versa.
But enough* of these unanswerable and inane questions, I was there for my second viewing this time with Cumberbatch as the creature.
It was great to see him play a very physical role rather than posh and intelligent (which he does very well). He seems to drop some of the physical nuances of the creature a little more than Miller does as the play progresses but he does play the physical aspects very well.
And Miller convinces as Victor as does his syrup which I had been worried about - a bad hair piece can be very distracting. Instead it was Cumberbatch's 'bald piece' that was distracting as it started visibly peeling off at his neck. It must have got stuck back into place during one of his brief spells off stage but it didn't stop me continually checking to see if it was staying put. I can't help it, these things worry me when I'm watching a play.
And now I'm putting off saying which version I preferred because it is a close run thing and I was so blown away by the play as a whole the first time and second time.
If I was to be offered one more chance to see it and had to choose, I can honestly say I wouldn't mind either way but if it was a case of choose or lose the ticket completely I think I'd go for Jonny as the creature. There I said it. And now I feel bad because the other version was really good too. My ratings from the first review still stand though.
* Just one more silly question: when the creature is in the womb on stage while the audience gets settled does it scare the living be-jesus out of the actor when the bell is rung? It made me jump out of my skin every single time - it's not only loud but you can feel the sound vibrating around the auditorium.