On Monday and Tuesday the Music Box will screen recordings of director Danny Boyle’s stage adaptation of Frankenstein. The production ran last year at London’s National Theatre to great success and played in movie houses all over the world via live transmission. The show, written by playwright Nick Dear, makes Frankenstein’s creature the hero of the story. In fact, we barely see the famous doctor until the second half, and when we do, he’s presented as a callous jerk. For Dear and Boyle, the story is a creation myth for the scientific age: if Frankenstein is a modern Prometheus, then the creature is a modern Adam, struggling to shake off his origins and define his humanity.
To emphasize the creature’s human side, Boyle had his lead actors, Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch, learn both of the central roles and switch between them. The Music Box will present both versions of the show: on Monday, you can see Cumberbatch as the creature and Miller as Frankenstein; and on Tuesday, you can see them in the opposite arrangement.