Jekyll & Hyde is tale we all know which has even seeped into popular parlance as phrase we all understand. Robert Louis Stevenson’s work has been adapted many times over into films, plays, songs and pretty much any other medium you can imagine. Therefore, we’ll skip the synopsis this time and get straight into the review of this musical, which ran April 1997 to January 2001 on Broadway and has now made its way to Leeds!
A prominent feature of Jekyll & Hyde is the harsh light it casts on the underbelly of the seemingly upper classes The façade of high society is funnily & sharply portrayed, with each cast member of good society also playing a contrasting character of either disrepute or misfortune. A striking example being Lady Beaconsfield who switches between airs & graces to the mother superior of a whore house. This undoubtedly intentional duality makes the hypocrisy and dark side of the well-to-do starkly apparent and wonderfully echoes the plight of the eponymous My Jekyll.
Wet Wet Wet’s Marti Pellow was an absolute force on stage, effortlessly charming as Mr. Jekyll and lustfully manic as Mr. Hyde. The first time he takes the potion that will ultimately lead to his downfall, you’d be forgiven for expecting more of a dramatic transformation, but Pellow’s mannerisms and persona convincingly change to portray his worse half. The murderous & sexual rampage that ensues begins rather light heartedly but spirals downwards quickly until Mr. Jekyll reaches rock bottom by the actions of his alter-ego. Culminating in a distressing climax of self hatred & doubt, the staging transforms to powerfully portray the man’s mental dilemma in a scene which will undoubtedly leave an impression.
As we’ve come to expect from touring productions at The Leeds Grand the staging was excellent, with seamless transitions from one set the next encompassing a luxurious parlous, complete with grandiose asymmetric red curtains to the grime of London’s nocturnal side-streets.
With not a single weak performance, and such a strong one from the leading man, let Jekyll & Hyde take you through you on journey through the twisted mind of an obsessed scientist as he struggles with his desires, his loves and the seductive power of evil.
Only one question remains, will you give in to your dark side?
Jekyll & Hyde is running at the Leeds Grand Monday 25 to Saturday 30 July, Book by calling Box Office on 0844 848 2705 or online at www.leedsgrandtheatre.com.