Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a fascinating play by David Edgar adapted from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. Set in Victorian London this play is filled with beautiful poetic language and is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally poignant.
Walking into the intimate theatre for the opening night performance of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde my eyes were immediately drawn to the substantially dark set. Designed by Andrew Stuart, the set was perfectly complimented by the lighting, designed by Graham Edmondon. The eeriness established by the set and the lights was exemplified even more through sound and musical additions. Neil Pankhurst expertly designed the sound in a way that kept the audience engaged and often times on the edge of their seats. It is clear that Nick Saldivar, who magnificently directed the show, worked very hard with everyone involved to ensure all elements of the show blended together seamlessly to create a beautiful and hauntingly intriguing production.
Nicholas Wilder brilliantly portrayed Dr. Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. His characterizations were fantastically unique while also allowing a few similarities. His first transformation startled the audience, many of whom jumped in their seats. His Dr. Jekyll was polished and dignified while his Mr. Hyde was physically and vocally menacing.
Helen McMillan, as Annie Loder, and Elizabeth Swan, as Katherine Urquart, were wonderful to watch. These two women heightened the emotional aspects of the show and allowed the audience the opportunity to see the man behind Dr. Jekyll - the scientist and before the madness of Mr. Hyde took over. Their kindness towards him near the end of the play opened a door for the audience to feel sympathy towards this dark and violent character.
The cast also includes Winnipesaukee Playhouse veterans Richard Brundage (Gabriel John Utterson) and A.J. Ditty (Richard Enfield/Parson), Jason Plourde (Poole), Ray Dudley (Dr. Lanyon/Sir Danvers Carew), Sophie Pankhurst (Lucy Urquart/Matchgirl), and Tyler Browne (Charles Urquart).
This production is thoroughly captivating from start to finish; and for anyone who is familiar with the classic story it is not to be missed. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde plays at the Winnipesaukee Playhouse until September 5th. For additional information and tickets to visit www.winnipesaukeeplayhouse.org
For more of my reviews and theatrical thoughts check out: http://intheatresome1isalwayswatching.blogspot.com