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Review of Jekyll and Hyde at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre

Jekyll and Hyde Production Photo
Wyatt Wendels as Mr Edward Hyde
Photograph by Michael Brydon

Jekyll and Hyde Corpus Delecti
Tucked away in Kentish Town is the Lion and Unicorn public house, a most charismatic and tranquil spot in a busy city; and foundation to a charming theatre space perched on top. On entering the performance area an immediate feel of engagement and involvement is experienced as the walls and floors are all daubed with the rantings and calculations of either a mad man or a genius, and this question of distinction between the two is the basis of the whole play. With the audience seated in the midst of the action and the performers utilising all space – including any spare chairs, it is impossible not to feel involved; creating a unique relationship with characters.

Jekyll and Hyde was always a play to be seen on stage, from its very beginnings when adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella in the 1800s, and this is no exception. The split personality, on this occasion, is played brilliantly by two actors who embody the different characteristics of good and evil. We are immediately confronted by the representation of Edward Hyde, restless, trapped in a mirror, whilst his host’s desires and appetites are suppressed, only to be released and magnified during the consumption of a chemical formula.

The obsessed Doctor Jekyll frantically scrawling on the walls of the room looking for answers to how and what he has created – it is a very charged atmosphere, fantastically staged by Simon James Collier.

The story has been given a new spin by Adam Dechanel, and is utterly absorbing. Action is constant, as we watch Doctor Jekyll try to maintain a normal life and relationship, whilst trying to control his own passions and hungers that release the dangerous alter ego. Whilst recognising his incredible achievement at separating the good and bad parts of his personality, it soon becomes clear that the experiment is not a success and the unleashed power of pure evil is deadly to all those around him.

Jekyll and Hyde Production photo
Photograph by Michael Brydon

Transformation from obsessive genius Jekyll to the heinous Hyde is portrayed by the turn of a mirror. With the drinking of the formula, Jekyll’s lust, anger and frustrations are released, so is Mr Hyde and places are exchanged in this area of stasis until appetites are sated. These two polar opposites are perfectly cast. Rory Fairbairn’s Jekyll is a gentle perfect prodigy of science, and Wyatt Wendel’s Hyde is the living breathing personification of evil – the voice, the red eyes the mannerisms; with the murderous activities played out in such close proximity I was certainly looking for a sofa to hide behind. Truly scary.

The supporting cast were strong and versatile, changing clothes and characters with such speed it was sometimes a bit hard to keep up! With as many costume changes as Beyonce, a few wardrobe malfunctions, love, lust, murder and even a big old musical number belted out, this is a show that gets the heart pumping. A fantastic thrill ride, not for the faint hearted!

4 star Review

Review by Rachel Borland

Jekyll and Hyde: Based on The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
A young lawyer visiting his Doctor friend at the London College of Tropical Diseases stumbles onto a series of horrifically dismembered corpses and takes it upon himself to hunt the killer.

As more students die and funding to the college is threatened, the race is on to solve the case before it’s too late.

When links between the dead to his friend Henry Jekyll arise, the mystery takes an even more sinister turn. Is Jekyll next on the killer’s list or is there something more horrifying to the mystery?

You may think you know the Robert Louis Stevenson classic but perhaps there is even more to this curious case than you know…

Cast:
REBECCA BELL – Molly Enfield / Sarafina Accorsi
ELIZABETH BRYANT – Penelope Carew
RORY FAIRBAIRN – Dr. Henry Jekyll
LEONORA HAIG – Mrs. Hilda Poole / Lady Henning
TOM HARTILL – Mr Gabriel John Utterson
CONNIE JACKSON – Mary Reilly / Tamzin
DARRAGH KELLIHER – Sir George Carew / Inspector Trevor Willard
WYATT WENDELS – Mr. Edward Hyde
An Evcol Entertainment Production in association with Clockwork Digital Studios.

Written by Adam Dechanel
Directed, Staged and Produced by Simon James Collier
Choreography / Movement Direction: Omar F. Okai
Co Producers: Adam Dechanel & Omar F. Okai
Associate Producer / Assistant Director: Michael Batten
Lighting Design: Michael Edwards
Sound Design: James Corner

Jekyll and Hyde
The Lion and Unicorn Theatre
42-44 Gaisford Street
Kentish Town
London, NW5 2ED

Tuesday 30th September to Saturday 25th October 2014
(Tues – Sat 7.30pm Sat Matinee 3.30pm)
Running time: 2hrs with a 15 minute interval
Age guidance: 13 years and above
For more information, please visit:
www.lionandunicorntheatre.com
Twitter: @LionandUnicorn

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1 thought on “Review of Jekyll and Hyde at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre”

  1. Outstanding! Very powerful and skilful acting indeed!

    A show not to be missed! I shall be going again!

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