Anyone who has an interest in, performs in or obsesses over theatre will know that last week the Old Vic hosted a production, directed and choreographed by Drew McOnie, of Jekyll and Hyde. The production only ran for 11 performance so I felt extremely privileged to bag myself a ticket to the final performance on Saturday night. And it was like something I had never seen before.
I have personally never watched a show which has no dialogue or lyrics, I also (and I know I should probably be ashamed of this fact) have never seen Jekyll and Hyde. I knew the basic idea behind it, but not how the story panned out. I had no trouble at all following the story being performed in front of me, from the second the performance began I couldn’t have tore my eyes from the stage for love nor money, what I was witnessing in front of me was completely mesmerising, hypnotic almost. The set was simplistic, consisting of a scaffolding poles style build, revolved by the cast, with three sections, split to represent Jekyll’s flower shop, his laboratory/bedroom and outside. Although minimal, it worked perfectly to accompany the story but to not distract away from the focus of the show, which of course is the impeccable dancing being performed around the set.
The entire piece was elegantly danced, to a beautiful soundtrack, by a strong cast of 12. The leading roles were portrayed by Daniel Collins (Jekyll) and Tim Hodges (Hyde). Both of them captured the essence of their character and played it beautifully. The personalities of the characters shone through in their movements and expressions.
Every member of the cast showed amazing stamina and dedication to the part they were representing, each of them equally as strong as the next. They worked incredibly well as a team, showing great trust in each other and performing in perfect synchronisation during the group numbers, not a single slip up or person out of place. The scenes showing the transition between Jekyll and Hyde were very clever, using sharp, jaggered movements and strobe lighting ensuring the switch over was discreet and almost magical.
It is a crying shame this production had such a short run and many people missed out on witnessing an utter masterpiece, I can only hope we will soon see more beautiful work from Drew McOnie and when we do, I advise each and everyone of you to grab a ticket and spend a couple of hours captivated by the magic of dance.