I have always been fascinated by the theme of different adaptations of ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ and was looking forward to this being brought to life on stage with the iconic Phil Daniels playing both protagonists.
In Act 1, the tension in the audience was so quiet you could hear a pin drop! This was no doubt intentional by the very talented director Kate Saxon.
This adaptation by David Edgar has a few tweaks to the original, mainly the addition of two women very key to the plot, Jekyll’s sister Katherine and maid Annie.
Perhaps the most sinister addition though is singer Rosie Abraham whose haunting vocals quite literally bridged the gap cleverly between set changes whilst keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.
A lot of thought has clearly been put into the lighting,costumes and props. This production doesn’t particularly rely on the special effects you would usually associate with Jekyll turning into Hyde, although it is very clear to the audience from Phil Daniels’ changes in stance and Scottish dialect which side he is depicting.
The theme of good versus evil is explored in a very intelligent, refreshing way and Phil Daniels’ impressive performances are enhanced by many other fine actors including Ben Jones as Dr Lanyon/Carew and Sam Cox as dry butler Poole. There are additional subplots with interesting twists and turns, particularly in Act 2.
Although the show felt it had been brought up to date in some ways, it still had the feel of a timeless classic and it was refreshing to be surrounded by a mesmerized audience which added to the eerie atmosphere.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is on at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday 5th May 2018 https://www.grandtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/drama/dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde