Created in a classic short novel, "The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde," by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886 is familiar to us all probably due to the film versions, where great emphasis is made on Hyde turning into a monster after drinking his potion.
"Jekyll and Hyde" is about the man of research and science and the inner beast driven by lust, fury and passion. All frame and comment on the central story of Jekyll himself and his attempts to control his alter ego Edward Hyde. In an alternative state of mind, he commits multiple murders and other atrocities, the issue of lifeless bodies and blood and how to portray them on the stage is raised.
Dr Henry Jekyll (Michael Williams/Jett Pangan) wants to prove that he can separate good and evil in man, as a cure to his father’s madness, through his revolutionary potion and is devastated when the board at St Jude’s Hospital refuse him a living soul to experiment upon.
During his bachelor party, he is inspired by local prostitute Lucy (Kalila Aguilos) to make his own dreams come true, and decides to experiment upon himself. By drinking the potion he becomes Edward Hyde, the manifestation of all that is bad about his own personality. Hyde revels in being alive and his acts become more and more shocking and culminate in multiple murders. Hyde finds it harder and harder to control his alter ego which threatens his sanity and his relationships with the people around him, especially his fiancée Emma (Cris Villonco).
When Hyde finds it harder and harder to control this manifestation of his personality until the murderous Hyde threatens to take over. Seemingly Jekyll takes control of his personality allowing him to marry Emma. Just as he says his vows Hyde returns to cause havoc at the wedding. Reluctantly Jekyll’s best friend Utterson (Junix Inocian) kills him to set him free.
When Dr. Jekyll comes to the realization of his own guilt, suicide seems his only option to forever silence his murderous side.
"Jekyll and Hyde" is a story we all know but few have actually read. This story focuses on a man who is able to allow the evil that lurks inside him to find freedom and expression through brutishness and corrupt behaviour. The musical incorporates both ideas with mixed results. Facade and duality are the main themes running throughout the musical. This production offers creatively dramatic solutions — stuffed sacks are stand-ins for corpses, and bags slashed open to spill blood-red beans and sand artfully imitate the escape of vital fluids from the body.
The leads in the show are spectacular. I have watched this play that Michael Williams, who plays Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde, has the voice of a superstar. This is not an easy role to do well. First, you have to be the dedicated if not a little compulsive Dr. Jekyll, whose passion for eradicating evil in the world clouds his good judgment. The acting was superb. Jekyll and Hyde were believable as two sides of the same coin, Hyde with a believably malevolent presence. Enfield hammed up his role marvelously, but still performed his final scene with pathos.
"Jekyll and Hyde" is enjoyable and the songs are good you just end up leaving it wishing there had been a bit more drama and spectacle to get your teeth into! Well done to all involved, including the band of course, "Jekyll and Hyde" is a fantastic musical!
Catch Repertory Philippines presentation of "Jekyll & Hyde" beginning March 16 to April 15 in Onstage, Greenbelt 1, Makati City. For tickets please call Repertory Philippines at 571-6926 or 571-4941 or email email@example.com or in Ticketworld at 891-9999 or www.ticketworld.com.ph.
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