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Jekyll and Hyde

5 August 15 words: Victoria Villasenor
The Thriller season is afoot with a tale of a man's murderous alter ego

Jekyll and Hyde - Classic Thriller Season - photo by Simon Cooper

The Colin McIntyer Classic Thriller Season is always a large draw, with season after season of fun, dark shows lined up. Kicking off the 2015 season is Jekyll and Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

The set is simple, multi-purpose. Much of the tale, told mostly from the point of view of Mr Gabriel Utterson, lawyer to seemingly all the prominent men in the area, takes place outside. On the occasions when it takes place indoors, simple furniture such as a table and chairs are added, always by costumed cast members. This simplicity keeps the focus of the audience on the story, rather than on the background.

Clearly, the actors of the moment are Robert Laughlin and Andrew Fettes, playing Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, respectively. Laughlin portrays Dr Jekyll as a kind of lonely, desperate old man, whom, although friendly enough, refuses to accept his work as ‘against nature’ until he finds out about the murders committed by his alter ego, Edward Hyde. Fettes, portraying Hyde, shows the audience a depraved, sarcastic villain with no good in him whatsoever. Although the moments of him appearing in a window or behind a backlit curtain come across as slightly silly rather than menacing, he certainly creates a despicable villain.

Utterson, portrayed by Andrew Ryan, does an admirable job of keeping the audience interested and focused. He is both believable and sympathetic. Inspector Newcomen, portrayed by David Gilbrook, seemed to have some first night jitters, and although he missed a line or two, he recovered quickly and added, particularly to the second act, an element of comedic relief, as does his detective constable, portrayed by Ryan Mitchell.

Mrs Poole, played by Susan Earnshaw, did an excellent job of being Dr. Jekyll’s maid, and her contained, clear acting was a perfect compliment to those of Jekyll and Hyde.

This is a fun, fast paced show, and certainly worth seeing for a relaxed evening out. Followed by Night Must Fall by Emlyn Williams, these are a great start to the Thriller Season.

Jekyll And Hyde part of the Classic Thriller Season 2015 plays at Nottingham's Theatre Royal from Monday 3 to Saturday 8 August 2015.

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