Jekyll and Hyde

Date 14th April 2018
Society Devizes Musical Theatre
Venue Dauntsey's School, Market Lavington
Type of Production Musical
Director Matt Dauncey
Musical Director Susan Braunton
Choreographer Jacqui Davison

Report

Author: Dee Way

This is a dark tale of dual personality and murder. The detail in this production was both inventive and fitting, with excellent props and costumes, good story telling and wonderful singing.

The planning of the production was very good, in having Mr Hyde often entering behind his victims, enhancing the sense of threat. Indeed, varying the entrances of the cast made the show more interesting and engaging. The continuity of the piece was well planned, but suffered a little from the very long legs covering the exit stage right, which delayed entrances and exits. However, overall the action was lively, gripping and accurate to the period (1880s).

The direction was creative in using a bare stage area with one large box centre stage that cleverly became a laboratory, a table and an altar at various times. The set also included a long balcony of scaffolding poles with stairs down to the centre stage behind the box. The darkness of the set reflected very well the darkness of the story, but also gave a magnificent contrast to the very colourful costumes of the actors, particularly the ladies.

The music was very well played and was totally sympathetic to the action on stage. The orchestra both supported the singing and created an atmosphere of terror and threat beautifully. The lighting and sound were good, although just at times, lighting cues were late. However, the opening heart beat sound was wonderfully dramatic.

Costumes were fabulous! The colour, style and fabrics made a glorious contrast to the darkness of the plot, and created characters of all the chorus members, both rich and poor.  Props were well sourced, especially the laboratory equipment, the antique wheelchair and the bedstead.  

Choreography was very well devised and fitting to the period and well performed. There was a sense of reality in the big scenes that was totally due to the acting and movement of the whole cast, although at times a little more movement for the ‘rich’ might have helped differentiate between the rich ladies and the prostitutes.

Overall, this was a very engaging production of a most intriguing story. It was exceptionally well acted and sung, and the staging had elements of brilliance. Congratulations to you all!