The Quick Center for the Arts presents a first: Two versions of the National Theatre Live Danny Boyle production of Frankenstein



Image: FrankensteinFor the first time ever, National Theatre Live will broadcast two separate performances of a production. Oscar winner Danny Boyle returns to the theatre to direct his visionary new production, "Frankenstein" and Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts will transmit the live performance Thursday, March 17 at 3 p.m. in the Kelley Theatre with Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature and Jonny Lee Miller as Victor. The encore broadcast of this live performance will be Friday, March 18 at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, April 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., the leads switch for these encore broadcasts and Miller plays the Creature with Cumberbatch as Victor. The play by Nick Dear based on the novel by Mary Shelley contains adult material and is suitable for ages 15 and up. Tickets are $22 general, $20 seniors and $15 students. "Frankenstein" is an Arts & Minds presentation.

In Ben Brantley's recent New York Times review of the London opening, which is nearly sold out, he described Boyle's directorial accomplishment as "rough magic" and of the opening moment of the play, he assured his readers that the audience is "sure to be spellbound" as it witnesses the introduction of Mary Shelley's archetypal monster. "I can't think of a more wrenching stage portrait of the terror and wonder of being born than the one [Boyle] provides ... Boyle has created a world in which visual metaphors assume visceral strength."

Brantley saw both actors perform each role on subsequent nights and was drawn into each interpretation by the opening sequence, which he describes as being staged "as a brilliant, lonely ballet." His experience confirmed the brilliance of artistic interpretation: "Watching each of these actors ... find their feet and test their body parts is such a dizzy high point that it can't be topped. (And their approaches are just different enough to make you want to see both.)"

The well-known story is of childlike innocence in a grotesque form. Frankenstein's bewildered creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal.

The cast includes George Harris as M. Frankenstein, Victor's father, Naomie Harris as Elizabeth Lavenza, Victor's fiancée and Andreea Padurariu as the Female Creature.

Boyle has chosen his film production designer, Mark Tildesley to design the lyrical sets with lighting designed by Bruno Poet and music and sound by Underworld. Captivated by the effect of these design elements, Brantley describes a "gorgeous vignette in which the Creature becomes conscious of the beauties of nature, as a flock of birds shoot into the air..." and lauds Poet's and Underground's work as "vital in making the play's illusions soar."

Tickets are available at fairfield.edu/quick or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number is 1-877-ARTS-396. Special offers and discounts are available through the Quick Center's e-mail list. Join, by contacting boxoffice@quickcenter.com. Become a fan of the Quick Center for the Arts on Facebook and keep up-to-date with the latest performance news, plus special offers and discounts. Find the Quick Center at www.facebook.com/FairfieldQuickCenter.

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Directions: Fairfield University is located off I-95, exit 22 at 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824. Access to the Quick Center for the Arts is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Special note: From Oct. 4, 2010 through June 30, 2012, the southern end of North Benson Road (Rt. 135) will be closed to traffic on nights and weekends. Round Hill Road intersects with Barlow and provides access to the Quick Center for the Arts.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 2, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 219