TV’s Sherlock to play Frankenstein and his monster
Film director Danny Boyle has cast his new production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre, and it’s going to be good!
The show starts in the Olivier theatre from February 2011 and will see Benedict Cumberbatch return to the venue alongside movie star Jonny Lee Miller. And to keep things fresh they will be alternating the roles of Dr Frankenstein and his monster.
There is no doubt that Benedict Cumberbatch has hit the mainstream this year, enjoying a huge hit playing Sherlock Holmes in the BBC’s modern take on Conan Doyle’s books – Sherlock.
He is also no stranger to the National, having played the lead in Thea Sharrock’s acclaimed production of Terence Rattigan’s After The Dance earlier this year.
And his fame will be further sealed with some forthcoming, high-profile movie roles including Steven Spielberg’s film version of the National Theatre’s War Horse, and a new version of John le Carre’s classic spy novel Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy alongside Gary Oldman and Colin Firth.
Trained at LAMDA, Cumberbatch’s past stage roles include work for the Open Air Theatre and the Almeida – including an Olivier Award nomination for his performance in Hedda Gabler in 2005. And on TV and film he has played alongside Rebecca Hall in Starter for Ten, gave an acclaimed performance as Stephen Hawking for the BBC, and played William Pitt in Michael Apted’s movie Amazing Grace.
This new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic Gothic novel has been reimagined by Nick Dear and told from the point of view of the monster.
Frankenstein in the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre will start previews from 5 February with press nights on 22 and 23 February, and the show is currently booking until 17 April, with further dates to be announced. The show is suitable only for 15 years+. Public booking for Frankenstein opens on 1 December 2010.
A series of special Platforms talks called ‘Beyond Frankenstein’ will run alongside the production: Frankenstein on Film on 24 February looks at Hollywood and the Frankenstein story; Frankenstein’s Science on 4 March sees Dr Brian Cox talk to Richard Holmes about the science behind Mary Shelley’s creature; Frankenstein’s Creator: Mary Shelley on 15 March sees acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin discuss the life of the author of Frankenstein; and Josephine Hart presents Romantic Poetry on 15 April, revealing the works of Shelley, Byron and their Romantic contemporaries.
Frankenstein will also be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and around the world on 17 March as part of National Theatre Live.