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Posts Tagged ‘Gary Young’

Perhaps I shouldn’t have seen this straight after a run of four musical comedies. It might be only 75 minutes, but it’s a dark affair. Unlike the Wildhorn-Bricusse Jekyll & Hyde musical, this is a three-hander chamber piece that’s less gothic and more introspective.

In seventeen scenes and eighteen songs we follow Jekyll, his fiancée Katherine, good-time girl Lizzie and of course Hyde from being booed by his peers to murder and consequential incarceration. With a book by Gary Young, the scenes and songs seem to change before they’ve been fully developed, leaving you with the impression of work-in-progress. It’s virtually sung through with a sub-operatic score by Tony Rees that left me a bit cold.

One can’t fault Robert McWhir’s production, though. Designer Martin Thomas has created a simple period feel with excellent lighting from Richard Lambert. With just cello for company, MD Matheson Bayley plays the score on piano from memory! The performances are all good – Dave Willetts no less as Jekyll / Hyde, Alexandra Fisher as Katherine & Jessie Lilley as Lizzie.

It was all a bit melodramatic and earnest for me, but maybe that’s because I was by now programmed to laugh!

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