“Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical” is 2 hours ofVictorian Society, laced with petticoats, a
kaledioscope of musical numbers and simple, but entertaining and unavoidable
choreography (by none other than Bill Dreamer!) These features all moldedperfectly
with one and other to tell the story of Dr Jekyll.
July 4 2011 – American Independence Day, a Monday, Sunny weather and theOpening Night performance of “Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical” atCardiff’s Millenium Centre, and I was invited! (If you’d like, the link to aninterview I had with the three leads, Marti, Sarah and Sabrina, they can befound at the bottom of this article, it was so much fun!) After meeting withCatrin Wyn Southall (Wicid Editor) we got our tickets for the show, which read”Martyn David – Wicid!” Amazingly, we were invited to the Drink’sReception which all of the Press are invited to.
Something I hadn’t realised about this was two words – FREEWINE! Which as you can view, was very relaxing before a night at the theatre tosee “Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical – Presented by Bill Kenwright.
Dr Jekyll (played by Marti Pellow); There’s a story here –thetitle role of Dr Jekyll and Edward Hyde is usually held by Marti Pellow (“Wet,Wet, Wet” frontman) however due to a nose injury involving staging in aprevious performance, he was unable to perform the Cardiff dates, howevercannot clarify whether he appeared for any Cardiff date as it was rumoured hemay have performed on the final night.) Aside his absence Martin Dickinson wasa marvellous alternative, but more on that later.
Now, rumour had it that Marti’s injury was the result of thestaging, and if you will, that in itself deserves applause – it is stunning! Thestreets of Industrial London are brought to life with cobble paths, flickeringstreet lanterns and smoky backdrops which dragged you back to 1890. The onlyissue I had here was an incredibly annoying red light in the wing which blinkedconstantly, however, I can’t say it was much of a distraction – at least, notby the time Sabrina Carter made her appearance. Step right up, step right upand witness Sabrina Carter, a previous long-running cast member of the MusicalPhenomenon that is “Wicked.” as Elphaba. She leapt into the spotlightwith her full-body, robust solo “Bring on the Men!” as Lucy, thebrave-faced mistress of anyone who could pay up, but one haunted by a troubledpast. Her brilliant brassy tones and hair-standing-on-the-back-of-your-neckbelts quickly made this my favourite song of the show, rivaled only by”Bitch, Bitch, Bitch!” A song by most of the cast members whichreally did make me giggle at its satirical essence.
The music of this show is a great variety of character lead solo’s and layeredensemble numbers. All in all through out 17 scenes there are 20 original songsas well as a couple of Reprise performances. These range from the comical”Bitch, Bitch Bitch!” to the show stopping “This is theMoment” through to the downright, heart-wrenching and chilling “Girlsof the Night”which really allows Kerri Watt to shine. The engaging part ofthis story, and indeed the theme that has kept it a revelant and wonderfulpiece of drama is the conflict between “Good and Evil” and theduality within all of us. Dr Jekyll is the good, rational and admirablescientist who is humilated by the Board of Governors of the hospital he works at,after telling them that in all of us there is good and evil, and that if we canisolate one from the other we can control it, eradicate it. This idea ofduality is maintained interestingly by the cast whom almost all play twocharacters on both sides of the spectrum – the rich and affluent, and theunderground tricksters. This cohesion between narrative and staging echoes DrJekyll’s own words “There is good and evil in all of us” and is abrilliant feature of the show. Interestingly, the only two characters who donot play dual roles are the aformentioned Lucy, and the pure-hearted and caringfiance of Dr Jekyll, Emma; played by the sensational Sarah Earnshaw, whoenjoyed a three-year run on “Wicked” as the understudy to Glinda. Sarah’simpressive range brought a sincere fragility to Emma and a loving sweetness, incontrast to that of the hard-hearted and larger-than-life Lucy. Not only thegirls ran this show. Martin Dickinson brought Dr Jekyll to life as a passionateand soulful scientist who was incompatible with a close-minded, frightenedworld. Impressively, his portrayal of Edward Hyde was thoroughly chilling anddark wthout becoming tragically comical – he danced the borderlinesuccessfully. Something I wonder is how Marti and Daniel differ in theirportrayals – as I can only truthfully give one opinion, it is that Danielplayed two entirely different characters, and switched back and forth betweeneffortlessly, and i’m sure that his solo “This is The Moment” was adefinite crowd-pleaser, kudos to him!
All in all, “Jekyll and Hyde” did not disappoint me after a 5 montheager wait, the opening night performance at Cardiff’s Millenium Centre was anexciting and emotional 2 hours of morals, music and moving performances. I’dlike to say a great well done to the wonderful cast, and thumbs up to the stageand costume designers and make a hopeful plea that the cast make a SoundtrackCD! Thanks also to Nia Jones who provided me and Catrin Wyn Southall with thetickets so you Wicid.tv members could have a chance to see a review.
I hope you enjoyed!
Until next time.