City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Jekyll and Hyde, Edinburgh Playhouse, Review


By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 21 June 2011

3
Marti Pellow in lead role
Show Details
Company: 
Bill Kenwright Ltd
Production: 
Martin Connor (Director), Bill Deamer (choreographer), David Steadman (Musical Supervisor), Mark Bailey (Set Designer)
Performers: 
Marti Pellow (Jekyll/Hyde), Sabrina Carter (Lucy), Sarah Earnshaw (Emma)
Running time: 
170mins

Playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Marti Pellow is central to this musical and excels at every aspect of this dual role much to the delight of the many fans in the audience.

In many ways, there is an element of the current television show Popstar To Operastar. While opera lovers would probably shudder at the suggestion that Jekyll and Hyde is anything like an opera, the music is also less poppy than in many other musicals. The main element missing is that the songs are not particularly melodic or ‘catchy’ and while carrying the story this could have been more effective in most cases as dialogue.

Marti Pellow continues to develop as a musical star, with a strong stage presence and ability to act as well as sing. When Marti sings ‘This is the Moment’, arguably the best song of the show, he brings alive not only Edward Hyde, but this whole production.

The show is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic, Victorian era novel ‘The Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde’. It follows the good Doctor who initially fails to convince the Board of St Jude’s Hospital that he should experiment on patients to develop his theory that good and evil is in everybody. Dr. J believes that this duality could be controlled by drugs leading to a better world and decides to self-administer to prove his point.

The initial five scenes and music establish the story but fail to entertain but the transformation of Marti Pellow’s Henry Jekyll into Edward Hyde is very convincing. There is of course a love interest with Emma (Sarah Earnshaw) his respectable fiancée and Lucy (Sabrina Carter), the prostitute who meets both the good doctor and the evil murderous Mr. Hyde.

Both singers have powerful voices and a couple of the better numbers with ‘In his eyes’ when the two are on stage together received generous applause. Whether it is in the composition or the delivery, other solos from both lacked a little tenderness and warmth that could have drawn the audience to their characters.

This production is cleverly staged with seamless changes of scenery being enhanced by atmospheric lighting and some clever production touches near the end. The ensemble numbers seemed to be a formula that was repeated a couple of times with ‘Murder, Murder’ being the best pick.

The show has a serious theme and there are only a couple of comic touches mainly provided by Jacob Chapman as Lord Savage.

This show stands or falls on the lead role and Marti Pellow’s portrayal of the dark side is at times riveting and turns this production into a good piece of theatre.

Show times

Jekyll and Hyde runs to Saturday 25th June, 7.30pm (matinees Wed and Sat, 2.30pm)