THE STRANGE CASE of DR JEKYLL and MR HYDE
Watermill Theatre, Bagnor Tuesday 28 May 2013
There were some very last minute worries about whether we would manage to sell all the tickets, and even then somebody didn’t make it because of illness. Nevertheless, all drivers arrived in good time and the Watermill worked its usual enchantment – not quite a balmy summer’s evening but an enjoyable occasion and an excellent production.
Quite why anyone would want to make Stevenson’s horror story funny might be debatable, but the Rhum and Clay Theatre Company (all three of them) worked with Beth Flintoff to create a breath-taking, eye-dazzling and rib-aching show. It was intended as something completely different, and the three talented young actors conjured the essence of a Victorian adventure with colourful costumes and versatile set. Versatility indeed – one actor played Jekyll-cum-Hyde, the other two played the rest of the cast – friends, servants, townsfolk, victims, with an array of minor costume changes, an enviable variety of accents, and such inventive mime and improvisation it was almost exhausting to watch. We were seated in the front three rows, so could easily appreciate the split-second timing and constant pace of the action. And somehow, despite the undoubted, even slapstick, comic moments, the serious moral commentary on a man giving way to his darker impulses was not shirked.
This trio were recommended by the Box Office when I booked the tickets. They are certainly well worth watching.