Creature discomforts

Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller star in Frankenstein screened at the Pavilion Cinema tonight and next Thursday
Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller star in Frankenstein screened at the Pavilion Cinema tonight and next Thursday

they are roles that have suitably earned both Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller the Olivier Award for Best Actor this year. And the success of Frankenstein means it is broadcast again throughout the country this month and next by National Theatre Live, including the Pavilion Cinema in Galashiels and Heart of Hawick.

Mary Shelley’s famous gothic horror tale was adapted for the stage by Nick Dear and realised by Danny Boyle in his return to the theatre after winning the Academy Award for best director for Slumdog Millionaire.

It initially enjoyed a sell-out run at the National Theatre, before being screened live from the London venue to cinemas last year.

But due to its popularity, National Theatre Live has decided to provide an extra season of encore screenings.

Miller and Cumberbatch’s performances, as they alternate the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature throughout the show, have received widespread critical acclaim.

A National Theatre Live spokesperson said: “Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in 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.

“Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale.”

Cumberbatch’s role has been described as an “astonishing performance”, and he has gone on to gain further plaudits as the eccentric modern-day Sherlock Holmes in the award-winning BBC TV series.

A peak audience of nine million watched the final episode of the second season in January as Sherlock appeared to plunge to his death.

Cumberbatch’s other TV roles have included playing Stephen Hawking and Vincent Van Gogh, while he starred in hit films War Horse and Tinker Sailor Soldier Spy last year.

Miller shot to fame in 1996 in Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, and has appeared regularly on TV, cinema and theatre ever since, including a portrayal of Graeme Obree in The Flying Scotsman.

Fittingly, Miller will play a version of Holmes, based in New York City, in an American TV series of Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels later this year.

Frankenstein is suitable for those aged 15 or over, but is sold out at the Heart of Hawick tonight.

However, the Teviotdale venue is screening the drama again on Thursday, July 12 – tickets are priced £12 (£10 concessions) and can be bought by phoning 01450 360688.

The Pavilion still has tickets for tonight’s 7.30pm screening (£14; £12 concessions) as well as an additional showing next Thursday, June 21, at the same time.

Phone 01896 752767 for more information.