Jekyll & Hyde

  • Theatre
  • Drama
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1/5
© Richard Davenport

'Jekyll & Hyde'

2/5
© Richard Davenport

'Jekyll & Hyde'

3/5
© Richard Davenport

'Jekyll & Hyde'

4/5
© Richard Davenport

'Jekyll & Hyde'

5/5
© Richard Davenport

'Jekyll & Hyde'

Robert Louis Stevenson’s gothic masterpiece is given a sexy makeover in Flipping The Bird’s stylish but frustrating reimagining. Here the Doctor is a mysterious woman who is as destructive of men’s hearts when she’s Jekyll as she is to their bodies as Hyde.

A bookseller is attempting to sell the dreadful tale to a publisher and they narrate the story while it is acted out in front of them. They are as enraptured by Jekyll as anyone and horrified by her gradual sexual degeneration.

It’s an interesting conceit. Jonathan Holloway’s neat one-act play tussles with gender identity and touches on ideas of patriarchy, revealing a new facet to Stevenson’s infamous schizophrenic story. But it is a theory that is never fully realised. Holloway is too concerned in keeping his heroine’s mystery to give it enough space to grow and a constricted Cristina Catalina is unable to portray these tumultuous antiheroes convincingly.

But Jessica Edwards’s production is undoubtedly good-looking. Designer Joanna Scotcher imaginatively creates 1880s London from a few chairs, carpets and misty orange windows, while the white-faced appearance of the ensemble lends an air of Victorian vaudeville to the proceedings. Laurence Osborn’s eerie score – played with gumption by the cast – sends chills down backs and as the bookseller Elliott Rennie’s narration is deliciously loaded with foreboding.

By Honour Bayes

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