Nick Lane’s reinterpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novella is playing at the Greenwich Theatre as part of an extensive UK tour.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a tale that has been told time and again over the years, captivating audiences with a thought-provoking cocktail of love, lust and betrayal. A story so famous that the concept of a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality has entered the lexicon, this is a brand new adaptation of the Gothic classic.
It sees Dr Jekyll as a meek, crippled genius, who is forced to experiment on himself after a colleague criticises his practice as unethical and threatens to ruin him. After his experimentation goes very wrong – or very right – his alter ego is unleashed, a powerful, sexual, violent menace. Mr Hyde is everything that Dr Jekyll is not, or perhaps is unable to be as a result of his condition.
It remains a fascinating story to this day and this new production certainly does it justice. The set is minimal but effective, with the only movement being the actors relocating tables and chairs to represent different spaces, and some subtle lighting – and the aid of a smoke machine – to recreate Victorian London’s foggy streets.
Of particular note is an impressive slow-motion fight scene shortly before the interval – even with minimal effects, it’s visually striking and incredibly dramatic. While this is the obvious standout moment, the performance is solid throughout. Each actor plays his or her part believably, enabling us to invest in each individual story. There are occasional songs, too, which add an additional layer to the drama and are, on occasion, rather haunting.
At a little over two hours including interval it certainly didn’t overstay its welcome – far from it, it kept us entertained throughout. Jekyll and Hyde has become such an enduring story because it’s so fascinating, and this is an intriguing new production – one we’d gladly recommend.
Gay Times gives The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – 4/5
More information can be found here.
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