Jekyll & Hyde

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Jekyll and Hyde: Lighthouse, Poole. (23rd October, 2012)

I wanted to enjoy this play so much but as a contemporary retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of good struggling against evil (and losing) it fell painfully short of the mark.

Despite some good acting and a story that showed many inspired moments, John Foster’s play ultimately vanished beneath a welter of cod psychology and cliches.

It focuses on Dr Harriet Jekyll, a London based criminologist obsessed with the workings of the psychopathic mind.

Played by Nicole Faraday, she embarks on a number of dangerous psychological experiments in a bid to experience for herself a sense of raw, murderous malevolence. She conjures up a devilish alter ego, Edward Hyde, street-killer, manipulator and dominant force in Jekyll’s growing personality disorder. Omar Ajayi-obe is excellent as this prowling, evil presence who first enters her head and then fires-up a mercilessly vicious streak deep within her.

As Hyde gradually destroys first a growing roster of victims and then Jekyll herself, the play flies off in all directions. It is at times puzzlingly verbose but it’s flow is also on occasions hijacked by unnecessarily truncated phraseology and some quite spectacular over-acting.

There are references to Victorian crimes of fact and fiction. One of Jekyll’s patients is a Whitechapel murderer known as Jackie Ripper. While her psychiatrist is called Dan Carew. One of the victims in Stevenson’s original 1886 novella was Sir Danvers Carew. But these nods to the era that spawned the great story really add very little.

Frankly it’s a shame this play doesn’t work better staged as it is by the usually excellent Dramatic Productions just a couple of miles from the site of Skerryvore - the house in Westbourne where Robert Louis Stevenson actually wrote The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

This new take on Jekyll & Hyde runs at Lighthouse until Saturday October 27. For more information about Dramatic Productions go to www.dramaticproductions.co.uk

Jeremy Miles

 

*****

And here is how Listed magazine re-wrote it, informing me in an email that it had been "amended slightly"  because  " Lighthouse are (sic) a great client of ours and we have a great relationship with them"  




Review: Jekyll and Hyde @ Lighthouse, Poole

October 24, 2012

This new take on Jekyll and Hyde is staged by Dramatic Productions just a couple of miles from the site of Skerryvore - the house in Westbourne where Robert Louis Stevenson actually wrote The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. 

This is a contemporary retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of good struggling against evil – and subsequently losing. It focuses on Dr Harriet Jekyll, a London based criminologist obsessed with the workings of the psychopathic mind. Despite many inspired moments, unfortunately John Foster’s play vanished slightly beneath a welter of cod psychology and clichés.

Played by Nicole Faraday, she embarks on a number of dangerous psychological experiments in a bid to experience for herself a sense of raw, murderous malevolence. She conjures up a devilish alter ego, Edward Hyde, street-killer, manipulator and dominant force in Jekyll’s growing personality disorder. Omar Ajayi-obe is excellent as this prowling, evil presence who first enters her head and then fires-up a mercilessly vicious streak deep within her. As Hyde gradually destroys first a growing roster of victims and then Jekyll herself, the play flies off in all directions and at times, is puzzlingly verbose. 

There are references to Victorian crimes of fact and fiction. One of Jekyll’s patients is a Whitechapel murderer known as Jackie Ripper. While her psychiatrist is called Dan Carew. One of the victims in Stevenson’s original 1886 novella was Sir Danvers Carew. 

This new take on Jekyll & Hyde runs at Lighthouse until Saturday October 27. For more information about Dramatic Productions go to www.dramaticproductions.co.uk 


Posted on: October 24, 2012
By: Jeremy Miles

ly© Jeremy Miles 2017