Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mould me man?

Every well-read reader has at least one book that they feel that they should have read. Every movie fan has that one movie that they don’t like to admit that they have never seen.

I actually have more than one. In one case, the two are somewhat related. I have never read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I have never seen “the scariest comedy” Young Frankenstein.

Making a spur-of-the-moment decision this evening, my husband and I traveled to the other side of the city to see the National Theatre Live’s production of Frankenstein, the sold out, award-winning, Danny Boyle directed play from last year starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonnie Lee Miller switching roles of The Monster and Dr. Frankenstein nightly. Cumberbatch and Miller won the Olivier Award for best acting for their shared roles.

From the beginning, the play gets your attention showing how lonely and difficult life is for the Monster as he struggles to figure out how to sit, stand, walk and balance. He marvels at the warm sun, the feeling of a rainstorm, the taste and feel of grass. His innocent mind takes in everything, but he learns quickly, including how cruel man can be.

I never realized what difficult themes Frankenstein deals with: science, faith, abandonment, love, individual and cultural cruelty, vengeance and obsession, the responsibility of the creator and the freedom and rights of the created. This play addresses them all but provides no easy answers, just questions. If the movie theatre wasn’t nearly an hour away, I would go see the showing tomorrow (with Cumberbatch and Miller in the opposite roles). This is broadcast in the US through Fathom Events, exclusively on Jun 6 & 7; check for a theatre near you.

Here is a trailer for the play:

I think that I need to read Shelly’s book and correct the error of my ways in not reading it previously. As for the Mel Brooks’ classic, Young Frankenstein, that’s entirely different, but, still, it should be in my Netflix queue, shouldn’t it?

4 responses to “Did I request thee, Maker, from my clay to mould me man?

  1. Definitely read Shelley’s book and see Brook’s film…in that order.

    • Thanks for the suggestion. I thought I had a copy of the book but I can’t seem to find one in my bookcases. Since i just reorganized them so that all unread fiction in is one place, the book must either be hiding someplace in the house or has gone missing permanently.

      I really wish that I could have gone back the next day to see the version with the actors in the alternate roles. Been thinking about it a lot for a few days.

  2. >>Every well-read reader has at least one book that they feel that they should have read.<<

    THAT'S an understatement :-)!
    I remember being blown away by Frankenstein the first time I read it (in college). I'd expected it to be a Hollywood-ish horror tale, and instead, found it to be an extremely thought-provoking and sad, sad tale (I had no idea I was going to so sympathize with the monster). I felt the same way when I read it again about ten years later. It's still one of my all-time favorite books. The play sounds fantastic and very true to the book, so I don't think you'll be disappointed when you do read it.

  3. The trailer for the play is incredible!!!
    I’m a huge fan of the book for the reasons you discussed in your post.
    Hollywood approaches these themes but the sensational aspect created by Hollywood has overshadowed them. Still, the films are worth seeing in my opinion and I still enjoy them.
    Great stuff.