DramaReviewSouth East

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Jekyll and Hyde: a one woman show – [email protected] Poets

Reviewer: Lela Tredwell

By: Sweet Productions

Writer/Director: JD Henshaw

Reviewer: Lela Tredwell

An innovative and visceral one woman show based on a timeless classic.

With this powerful exciting performance, we are reminded why the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde still fascinates a modern audience. Intellectual, woman of science, Dr Jekyll has been
experimenting with methods to unleash her more base instincts. However, we learn very early on in this piece that Jekyll’s more beastly side – Hyde – has been rather relishing in pushing all the boundaries of civility. Hyde has turned murderous and there seems to be no stopping her.
Once she’s tasted one strawberry, Hyde tells us, why not keep sampling more? She’s into the 40s now. Jekyll repeatedly refers to Hyde as child-like and merely in need of education. But we, the audience are privy to Hyde’s lessons. We can see how sophisticated Hyde can be with her word play and perception. She senses the world in full colour and it’s bewitching to behold.

This is a beautiful sensory explosion of a performance with lighting and sound working perfectly together in equal measure to delight and disorientate. Award-winning performer Heather-Rose Andrews embodies both Jekyll and Hyde, and everything in between, in what is an extraordinary display of physical theatre. Captivating and beguiling, it’s hard to take your eyes off the spectacle. Andrew’s has a deeply engaging way of addressing her audience. As she extends her stare, we feel like there’s nowhere to hide from her. She can surely see all the monsters within.

The action in this passionate piece is staged around a central large desk. Stage dressing, props
and costumes are precisely chosen to contribute to the Victorian aesthetic. And though many
words too reflect the times, the sentiment could easily be current day. The obsessively committed intellect vs. the impulsive reckless beast.

The way the language flows in this piece leaves you breathless; the images haunt. We are whisked away in awe. This show takes Stevenson’s classic tale and pushes it into uncharted territory. There is so much to sink your teeth into through this retelling, you’ll leave well-feed on the power of performance to show us yet more of that which we already now.

Reviewed on 17th May.  Runs to 22nd May.

The Reviews Hub Score

A Passionate Performance

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