Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle returns to the theatre to galvanise Frankenstein’s monster into shuddering life.

In a flare of blazing bulbs, this naked creation of sutured-together body parts forces his way through a pulsing amniotic sac to emerge, ugly but innocent, unable to walk, talk and with neither name nor memory, to learn the ways of man.

Nick Dear’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s 1818 gothic novel is disappointingly colourless, but is swept triumphantly along by Boyle’s thrilling visual flair, Underworld’s atmospheric music and intense performances from Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller (alternating the roles of obsessive scientist and his handiwork) as the latter comes to realise that only the blind old man who teaches him Milton and Plutarch can “see” the tragically unfulfilled potential of this newborn being.


Olivier at the National Theatre
South Bank
020 7452 3000

Tube: Waterloo  
In rep until May 2  
£12 – £45

– Louise Kingsley