Review: The Company Presents Jekyll & Hyde
As the nights draw in, and the autumn takes hold, what could be better in the run up to Halloween than a slice of classic horror? Sheffield theatre group, The Company, presents The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde which places a feminist spin on the well-known tale, as Dr Harriett Jekyll fights both Victorian society’s male dominance and her own inner demons; resulting in murder.
With a simply dressed set, a split stage and making use of some atmospheric lighting, the production benefits from prompting some use of the imagination, giving a feeling akin to reading the novel. Alice Schofield provides a solid central performance as Dr Harriet Jekyll, portraying a tormented woman struggling with both social conventions and her own sanity; whilst Mark Kenney is suitably menacing as the aggressive Dr Hyde. The transformation scenes between characters are well-handled, and the simple staging in the surroundings of a former church, coupled with the stripped back feel of the piece, enhances the atmosphere.
Whilst the production has a short running time, it never rushes the narrative and delivers a satisfying story arc; the story is presented in a multi-layered format which can be seen as a commentary on gender equality, a portrayal of a woman descending into mental illness, or simply enjoyed as a satisfying piece of classic gothic horror.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is currently playing at the University Drama Studio, Shearwood Road until Saturday 29th September 2018. Further details can be found on their website at www.thecompanysheffield.co.uk/
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