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Review: Books, Theatre, Albums, Movies and Gigs

Jekyll and Hyde

Liverpool Empire
16th – 21st May

Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Director: Martin Connor
Producer: Bill Kenwright Productions
Composer: Frank Wildhorn
Cast Includes: Marti Pellow, Sabrina Carter, Sarah Earnshaw and David Delve.

 

Jekyll and Hyde promotional poster starring Marti Pellow

 

The story of Jekyll & Hyde is a sinister and brooding tale that looks at the darkness inside of us all, the side we suppress, that our morals over rule. It serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of manipulating the human psyche and of believing that we can always remain in control.

Marti Pellow, of Wet Wet Wet fame, proves beyond doubt that he is much more than just a pop singer. His voice is resonant, powerful and communicates real emotion. In his role as both Jekyll & Hyde he captures your attention with songs like “This Is the Moment” and “Dangerous Game”. Sabrina Carter bursts onto the stage as Lucy a showgirl/ prostitute who through contact with Jekyll begins to dream of another life. Her opening song “Bring On the Men” is fast paced and fun, bringing some much needed energy to the production which never seems to gather the paces it promises.

The song “Façard” is a complex, cleverly arranged piece that is thoroughly enjoyable, it however is one of a small number of songs that has real life and energy. This seems due to composition rather than any fault of either musicians or singers. The score is generally disappointing and doesn’t reflect the pace of the story. The production seemed to meander along rather than demand attention which such a dramatic, dark tale as this requires. We get brief glimpses of the energetic show this could have been with songs like “Bitch, Bitch, Bitch” and “Murder, Murder” which are fun, interesting and lively.

A major plus point, however, is the clever, inventive and grand set designs that allow the audience to be drawn into the story and into the world of Jekyll & Hyde perfectly. The costumes have been given equal attention and like the sets allow the mind to transport itself to this fictional place. That said there are still some scenes that seem to linger and could really have done with being shorter and more succinct.

Overall despite a very capable talented cast who all have real singing talent this production lacked energy. It sagged in the middle and was held up by a few very good songs. The cast, sets and costumes redeem most of the production’s flaws though ultimately it still fails to hold the attention throughout. A disappointing result as so much more is possible with a cast such as this.

Nina Lloyd-Jones

 

 

Click here to view details and book for the Liverpool Empire Theatre
www.liverpoolempire.org.uk


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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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