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Jekyll & Hyde

by on 24 March 2023

In Two Minds

Jekyll & Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by Maggiemarie Casto

Maggiemarie Productions at OSO Arts Centre, Barnes until 25th March

Review by Heather Moulson

A stark set, predominately dark, and the original characters of Utterson and Lanyon express concern about a menacing stranger, and about murders.  A lot of material is covered by the time Jekyll comes on.  Jekyll & Hyde looks to be an interesting interpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s terrifying novella, The Strange Case of DrJekyll and Mr Hyde.  The simple set is designed by Karl Chaundy, with Patrick Richards as the thoughtful lighting designer. 

Utterson, played by Robert Veng, is an intelligent actor and a good protagonist, but he has a lot to carry and the reported speech becomes weighty.  When Lanyon addresses us as the audience, Bethany Monk-Lane covers it smoothly, and we, the audience, are drawn in and become involved. 

The second scene at Jekyll’s house is once again with the three friends, but although vital to the plot, it does seem rather static.  A maid Rebecca replaces Jekyll’s butler, Mr Poole, and Faye Ziegler carries this role off with insolent obedience, sharpness and humour.   But Rebecca also carries a dark undercurrent.   Ziegler doubles up as the landlady in the area where the murders took place, and her scene with Lanyon is strong.  Veng excels during these scenes.

Michael Gillett is monumental as Dr Jekyll and has a tangible stage presence. His transformation and body movements as Mr Hyde are convincingly unhinged.  As Lanyon confronts him, Hyde reveals his alter ego, and the plot unravels at a better pace, bringing us to a strong climatic ending and the effective final blackout.

Directed by Maggiemarie Casto, who also wrote this adaption, Jekyll & Hyde is an intelligent production, addressing the psychological undercurrents, but one which has you looking over your shoulder on the way home.

Heather Moulson, March 2023

Photography by courtesy of Maggiemarie Productions

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