Thursday, 26 May 2016

Review: Jekyll and Hyde at the Old Vic

Jekyll and Hyde 
Old Vic
Reviewed on Thursday 26th May 2016 (matinee)

In 2014 I was blown away by The McOnie Company's inaugural production, Drunk at the Bridewell Theatre; since then Drew McOnie has been swept off his feet, choreographing musicals such as Bugsy Malone, Hairspray, In The Heights and Oklahoma! to huge acclaim.

Now The McOnie Company are back with a new dance-thriller adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde. The show is playing the Old Vic as part of Matthew Warchus' first season as artistic director, reconnecting the venue with its long history of hosting dance productions.

We all know that McOnie is an extraordinary choreographer who champions, pushes and embraces musical theatre performers... but with Jekyll and Hyde he has surpassed himself. The show is seductive, oozing with style and showcasing some of the most tremendous talent you will see on any London stage.

A new score has been composed by the mastermind that is Grant Olding. McOnie and Olding are clearly a collaboration made in heaven - their vision comes together to create a piece which feels fine-tuned and in tip top shape. You would never know that Jekyll and Hyde has only played a handful of performances.

The detail in every aspect of the production is stunning; the first transformation of Jekyll into Hyde is incredible - every element from the staging and music to the lighting and sound is spot on. Even though I knew what was coming this adaptation had me on the edge of my seat. The storytelling is superb. It lulls you in gently before unveiling its bite. 

McOnie has cast an ensemble of performers who are all at the top of their game. Daniel Collins gives a career defining performance as Dr Jekyll, opposite the brilliant Tim Hodges as Mr Hyde. Rachel Muldoon mesmerises as Dahlia - she is alluring. 

Ashley Andrews, Joao Carolino, Carrie Taylor Johnson, Anabel Kutay, Ebony Molina, Freya Rowley, Alexzandra Sarmiento, Barnaby Thompson and Jason Winter don't put a foot wrong. Their dedication to the piece and execution of the style is spot on. What a company.

I loved overhearing the reaction of one older lady who thought she was in for a 'lovely afternoon at the Old Vic', and was blown away by what she witnessed. At first the audience were quiet - the concentration in the auditorium was intense - but at the end of the show everyone leapt to their feet. 

It seems criminal that Jekyll and Hyde only runs at the Old Vic for just over a week; let's hope theatregoers missing out are given another opportunity to see the piece. As the show has been playing to packed houses, The McOnie Company's next creation is certainly deserving of a much longer run.

There's always a lot of debate and concern about the future of new work, but with Drew McOnie at the forefront of our industry staging such bold, exciting work we have nothing to worry about. Drop all your plans and pick up one of the last few tickets.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Jekyll and Hyde runs at the Old Vic until 28th May 2016.
Please visit for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

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