London’s National Theatre is streaming Benedict Cumberbatch’s mind-bending play for free today
Theater lovers know that one of the few bright spots amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is the ability to stream plays and musicals online. Fans all over the world have access to shows, both new and old, from the comfort of their couches. Now, London’s National Theatre is streaming the 2011 production of Nick Dear’s Frankenstein, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. Trust us: You’re going to watch it more than once.
Beginning at 2 p.m. ET today, April 30th, the National Theatre’s YouTube channel will be streaming Frankenstein for free.
It’s a must-see for fans of the horror classic or those looking for a little culture in their quarantine. IRL, during the show’s run, Miller and Cumberbatch alternated roles each night. That gave them both a chance to play Victor Frankenstein and the Creature. Everyone who read the book in high school knows how relevant that trippy casting decision is to its themes.
In the iteration today, Cumberbatch plays the Creature and Miller plays Victor Frankenstein. Watch it below, starting at 2 p.m. Starting tomorrow, May 1st, at 2 p.m. ET, the National Theatre will stream the version with those roles swapped.
Even if you think you know the original story written by Mary Shelley, this experimental dual-version serves up so many surprises. If we haven’t already convinced you to tune in, Naomie Harris (of Moonlight, Spectre, and Skyfall) plays Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s ill-fated love interest. Danny Boyle—who is behind Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting, and Yesterday, among many others—directed this stage show.
The plays will stream for free for a week—until May 7th and May 8th, respectively—so you’ll have to act fast if you want to check it out. It might be a while before we’re back to seeing live theater, but we’re endlessly grateful for the ability to stream so many iconic shows as we practice social distancing.
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