In 2011, a production of Nick Dear’s play, "Frankenstein" based on the novel by Mary Shelley was directed by Danny Boyle at the Royal National Theatre. The casting includes Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, with the two lead actors alternating the roles of Victor Frankenstein and the Creature. The two stars shared the Olivier award for best actors. Playwright Dear adapted Mary Shelley’s novel into a version viewed from the creature’s perspective. Starting in September 2015, the National Theatre made screenings of the live performance of the play available to schools for free. The play is available in paperback and occasional live screenings.
Included in this teaching resource is a 46 question study guide for students to closely follow the viewing of the play or the reading of the text. There are a few links to multimedia presentations. The first assessment involves viewing a discussion with Nick Dear and Danny Boyle where students have a guide of 25 questions to follow the discussion. An answer key is provided. In the second assessment, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller discuss in a video clip which is linked in the packet, how they prepared for their roles where they changed acting parts on alternate nights. A rubric and sample responses are provided.
In the third assessment, there is a link provided to the 1999 AP English Literature thematic question that students with knowledge of the play can answer. Not only is the link to sample questions for the 1999 exam provided, but two original student samples based on the play are also included with commentary from an experienced AP English reader. These are activities that can be done while reading the original novel or they can be done as an independent reading activity in itself.
Tags: Nick Dear, Mary Shelley, Danny Boyle, Romanticism, Science Fiction, British Literature, drama, gifted, essay writing, characterization