A Tragedy, But No Shakespeare!
Phil Hopkins, Arts & Travel Editor
As Dr Jekyll lay dead and all present suddenly realised the dubious medic also doubled as his alter ego, Mr Hyde, I felt sure that someone was about to shout out ‘Goodnight sweet prince and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’.
However, there was no Hamlet in sight and Ophelia was probably in Wetherspoons partaking of the curry night, but all present at Bradford’s Alhambra still enjoyed the evening’s unexpected tragedy!
As leading man, Phil Daniels gurned his way through David Edgar’s overworked adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s literary masterpiece, at times it all seemed like an overly elaborate piece of decoupage with too many layers, concepts and stage directions. It finished up confused and just too difficult to follow with clarity. Thank the Lord the story was already known by many.
As Jekyll transitioned he acquired a heavy Scottish accent that Rab C Nesbitt would have been proud of.
Stevenson’s novel, which was probably quite shocking in the late 1800’s, looks at man’s sub- conscious demons. I can see why Director, Kate Saxon, had in mind a Scottish accent, it would probably be what the author heard.
And there was no ‘monster like change’ which again, was good, that would have turned the play into a complete farce, instead of which it was only a partial farce. When Daniels transitioned and momentarily dashed across the stage with a silent-movie face and cape, there was the odd titter in the audience.
The set was great and the brilliant lighting plot, which really worked hard in transitioning the scenes, merely served to deliver a triumph of plot confusion with the added challenge of not being able to understand swathes of dialogue. You only had to listen to people in the interval and afterwards to know that many agreed.
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde promised a lot in its title, however, this version did not do the original book justice and left me remembering those days when me and mother went to the cinema, “sit still shuffle bottom, we’ll be going home soon.” I was glad when I did!
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
Until Saturday 21st April 2018
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A Tragedy, But No Shakespeare!, 18th April 2018, 7:33 AM