This new adaptation is written by Jo Clifford and directed by David Hutchinson and is a modern interpretation of the original story with multiple twists including up to date current affairs and modernised language that drives a newness and explorative element to a well told tale.
The play begins with a bold and striking opening which leaves us impressed. The unfortunate thing about this memorable start is that the middle of act one becomes laborious and tired in places. The rotating centre piece is flexible and creates multiple scenes often allowing for a different dynamic and enhancing the dramatic tension in scenes.
The modernised text and delivery was both clever and witty and engages the audience in a thought provoking way. I did feel that there were too many sub plots and moral messages within the play and this became distracting and sometimes unnecessary.
Rowena Lennon drives a powerhouse performance playing multiple characters with ease and finesse and only token elements of costume to differentiate.
Nathan Ives-Moibatrong delivers a moving and emotional performance as Jekyll/Hyde and I was particularly impressed by his physicalisation of the character. He utilised and contorted every bone in his body to create the transformation from one character to the other and this was incredibly fascinating and hugely impactful on the audience.
The journey through this production has many twists and turns, one of which is a very surreal, verging on S & M section, whereby the audience is left feeling socially and morally awkward about what they’re viewing and unable to stop it. This is a nail biting moment and is theatre at its best when it is questioning its audience and pushing the boundaries of society.
This updated piece is unique and fresh and not for the faint hearted. It doesn’t hold back and isn’t apologetic for confronting the social issues it covers. This is overall a fantastically produced and directed piece of theatre with real masterclass moments of the actor connecting to the text. Thoroughly enjoyable evening at the theatre.
Reviewed by Matthew Wren Andrew
Jekyll and Hyde is on tour around the UK. Click here for dates and venue and to book tickets.