Jekyll and Hyde

Date 17th May 2013
Society Worthing Musical Comedy Society
Venue The Connaught Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Susan Stacey
Musical Director Nigel Newman
Choreographer Penny Woodman

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

This dark tale is a complete departure from the normal type of show performed by Worthing Musical Comedy Society and so presented many challenges but they rose and conquered them all. Their outstanding set consisted of ever changing images thrown up on a full stage back cloth brilliantly co-ordinated by Chris Keen with input from Andy Roberts and other talented members of the Society.  The lighting design by Stephen Holroyd added greatly to the atmosphere of  the seedier side of Victorian London and the Music under the direction of Nigel Newman was superb but made the words being sung and quite a bit of the dialogue very difficult to hear in many parts of the theatre.  The dance routines, in the hands of Penny Woodman, where brilliant with incredible use of chairs and tables to give really wonderful images at different heights, the costumes were superb and the well chosen wigs added the final touch. The whole direction of this great show was quite outstanding and a credit to the entire team but mainly to Susan Stacey but without a great cast of performers, which they certainly possess, a show is nothing. The chorus singing was excellent as was their movement, and Wayne Roberts in the title roles gave an outstanding performance. His transformations between his good and evil selves were extremely convincing and the ease with which he carried them out made them even more so. His rendition of “This is the Moment” was spine-tingling. Marie Ball (Emma Carew) and Jodie Tappenden (Lucy Harris) as his love interests gave excellent, strong performances – I particularly liked their duet “In His Eyes”. Stephen Hollis (John Gabriel Utterson) gave a great portrayal of Jekyll’s sympathetic and faithful friend and on the aristocratic side, Chris Keen (Sir Danvers Carew), Elspeth Bunker (Poole), Oliver Taylor (Simon Stride), Gillian Jackson (Lady Beaconsfield), Patrick Gosden (Bishop of Basingstoke), John Chambers (Lord Savage), Denis Fuller (General Lord Glossop) and Davide Arbisi (Sir Archibald Proops) were totally in character. On the seedier side strong support was given by Jack Winrow (Spider the brothel keeper) and Vicky Scales (Nellie, Lucy’s kind hearted prostitute friend).