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Jekyll & Hyde by Leonard H Caddy

posted 1 May 2013, 15:23 by Unknown user   [ updated 1 May 2013, 15:23 ]

Wycliffe Drama Group is never afraid to tackle the unusual, even a Victorian thriller by R.L.Stevenson, rarely seen on stage. There have been dozens of films made of “Dr Jekyll and Hyde”, though, and the story of the scientist doctor who experiments on himself and releases an evil alter- ego, Mr Hyde, is a well known one. It was a daunting project, especially for a first time director. Congratulations to Becky Harwood who used subdued lighting and appropriate music to add to the creepy atmosphere.

WDG’s actors did her proud. Russ Crookes transformed the good Doctor Jekyll into the epitome of the evil monster, with nothing to help except false teeth---and excellent acting. A stunning performance, quite terrifying!

The doctor’s friends were the experienced Richard Holyoak and Dickie Wood, (sympathetic in a rare straight role. He should do more!) Andrew Spencer was Poole, the dignified Butler, struggling with his employer’s changes, and Hazel Maher was the parlourmaid, Hilda.

The biggest surprise in the cast were four brand new members of WDG, all still in school. Tabatha Gregg is only 14 but as Charlotte, the new maid, who befriends the doctor and is eventually murdered by Mr Hyde, showed a fine range of acting, sometimes a child and other times a young woman. Imi Hornsby played the prostitute with sensitivity and Beth Cunningham was the doctor’s fiancée, Celestine, a mature and understated role These young girls are a real find! Even 11 year old Beckie Embley’s silent but significant cameo added greatly to the tension. (It isn’t easy to play a dead body!)

A play well worth seeing, (sitting on the edge of your seat!)

 Vivien Window