Monday, 16 February 2015

Review: Jekyll and Hyde (UK Tour) at the Greenwich Theatre

Jekyll and Hyde
Greenwich Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 12th February 2015

It is always exciting when someone tries to bring something new to a well-known story, but sadly Jo Clifford's new adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is yet to find its feet. The futuristic interpretation sees Dr Jekyll as a dodgy high-profile cancer specialist.

Nathan Ives-Moiba (pictured right) prances around the stage, transforming from Jekyll to Hyde and while there are perhaps one or two nice moments of movement, the characterisation is far too in your face. It feels like Ives-Moiba is constantly taking his shirt on and off which becomes very clumsy. Ives-Moiba performs the text as if he is reciting eloquent Shakespeare; however, his tiresome monologues lack direction and focus, instead they go round and round in tedious circles.

One of my main issues with the piece is the overall lack of structure. The text needs to be heavily edited as several speeches go absolutely nowhere and many scenes are irrelevant. On paper I can see that Clifford wants to make some powerful points, but as I watched it I did not know what this production was trying to tell me. It lacks true passion and it lacks identity; I found the whole experience rather draining. 

I usually love a good revolving stage; but this one is overused and only makes the production feel even clunkier. Redeeming features include a wonderful performance from Rowena Lennon who showcases versatility and, at times, a distant glimmer of heart, as well as the terrific sound design which is highly effective and complemented nicely by the atmospheric lighting design. 

Jekyll and Hyde is such a classic, but sadly this production is extremely dull. It's frustrating because there is so much potential for Clifford's adaptation to provide an epically thought provoking theatrical experience. There really is hope - with a tighter script, more focused themes and bolder direction this play could be enticing; but sadly in its current form I wouldn’t recommend it. 

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Jekyll and Hyde tours the UK until Friday 27th March 2015.
Please visit for further information, full tour dates and tickets.

Photo Credit:  Matt Martin Photography

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