I won’t even pretend I understand the appeal of the mass appeal culture. I read books and watch movies to feel, think, and imagine. Unfortunately, too many blockbuster productions and bestselling novels fail to provoke any of those reactions.
That’s why I enjoy the theatre so much. A good play usually achieves all three.
The pandemic might’ve closed all theatres for now, but it also opened virtual auditoriums to viewers at home. Many leading theatres are streaming their best plays on YouTube every week now. The shows won’t stay around forever, so if you wanted to catch up on theatre, now’s the time to do it.
Yesterday we watched the brilliant Frankenstein filmed in the National Theatre, London, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature. The acting in that play was something out of this world.
The story is loosely based on the novel by Mary Shelley, but only loosely. To me, it felt more like an excuse to explore the question of “What makes a person who they are?” I’ve never seen such careful exploration of the human psyche and the depths of our cruelty.
(unfortunately the play was removed from YouTube after a year)
And, if you enjoy it, consider donating to their fundraiser. We won’t know how much we needed culture until it’s crippled. The pandemic is having a devastating effect on art around the world.