Speaking frankly, I only know the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde through its reputation, which precedes it somewhat. I was relying on the narrative that the play itself told to teach me the story and whilst I was aware that this version strayed extravagantly from the beaten path of the original tale, the essence of the plot remained headstrong.
Director Nick Lane incorporated a new female character to the story; who, in true feminist style becomes the reason Jekyll and Hyde falls weak as his lust overtakes his sense of identity. This was a smart move as the original story has only male characters and his introduction of Eleanor Lanyon, played effortlessly and elegantly by Paige Round brought power and femininity to a dark and stormy tale.
May I also commend both Paige’s many accents and her singing voice, which echoed smokily throughout the theatre in real life gothic style.The highlight for me was the acting, which was both believable and exciting. Classics can often be over acted or under acted and there is always a certain expectation that they fit a traditional criteria. Whilst there is no doubt that the regality in both posture, language and pronunciation of the actors maintained that level of tradition; there were courteous modern twists that nodded a head to diverse theatrics. Most notably for me, was a scene in which a fantastically choreographed slow motion (one-sided) fight broke out and it was so well done I genuinely felt like real time murder footage had been slowed down and was being played back to me.
My jaw quite honestly dropped to the floor.It would be discourteous of me not to acknowledge the music and/or the costumes; both of which were flawless. I was in awe of Eleanor Lanyon’s (Paige Round’s character) plush velvet victorian gown and I would, myself one day like to look as beautiful in purple as she did. The music score was curated perfectly to fit the mood and the timing of all parts fitting together made for a very satisfactory evening of theatre.
Check out the full show listings at Greenwich Theatre here.
Review was written by guest editor Ellen Harper.