Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

I watched Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by the Touring Consortium Theatre Company at the Theatre Royal on Tuesday 20th March 2018. The production was an incredible take on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, a Victorian gothic thriller.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

In this interpretation of Jekyll and Hyde more characters were added, e.g. 'Polly' who became a victim of the villain "Mr. Hyde". Although the play took the key ideas of the famous novel, the plot differed, with many elements of foreshadowing, new characters, and incredible soundscapes and singing. The production certainly kept us as an audience engaged on 'on the edge of our seats'. 

There were many outstanding features in the play, one being the use of sound in order to create a tense, thrilling atmosphere for the audience. In between scenes, there was a young girl singing, nursery rhymes, and disjointed lyrics, this created a tense, uneasy atmosphere for the audience, it created constant enigmas in the performance until the very end. These lyrics were later put together near the end on the play. Whilst the young girl between scenes had a high pitched, soft, tuneful voice- Mr. Hyde sang appearing drunk, loud and harsh- making the audience even more uncomfortable and fearful of his character. It was mostly impactful when the singing or other spot sounds in the production were played from all around the audience. this immersed them in the action, making them feel uncomfortable and trapped as they were almost involved in drama on stage. This created constant jump scares, and the audience was always on edge, which complemented the dark action of the gothic horror. 

A prominent feature of this production was the characterisation specifically Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde played by Phil Daniels. As these contrasting characters were played by the same person, (as in the story they were the same person transformed) it was vital that the characters really contrasted in order to present this transformation convincingly. Daniels used an upright posture for Jekyll, with quieter, more controlled vocals and stronger, clearly directed gesture and movement. This portrayed the characters high place in society and strict upbringing. Mr. Hyde, however, was played with loud, sporadic vocals of ranging volumes and pitched by generally quite harsh and powerful. His movements were careless and irregular, yet heavy and powerful- which I found really effective as Daniels characterisation clearly represented him as the ultimate villainous character in the play.

Overall, I really enjoyed Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by the Touring Consortium Theatre Company, although I at first hoped to see a recreation of the original story, I found the new take on the novel refreshing and interesting and would recommend the Touring Consortium Theatre Company as they put on a brilliant performance. 


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