Review: The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde at Sheffield’s Lantern Theatre

The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

ROBERT Louis Stevenson’s story has always been larger than life, in the sense it is one man’s mission to unleash the mind’s ‘other’ personality, writes David Dunn.

In director Nick Lane’s adaptation the tale takes on efficient form with the focus on Dr Jekyll’s back story and Hull Truck’s canny stage craft to make the scientist’s battle compelling without frills.

Stevenson’s story may lack the horror factor in a numbed 21st century, but Strange Case weaves a generous journey into man’s dark side and the implications for those around.

Largely this is down to James Weaver’s agile, expressive work as the obsessive doctor and murderous alter ego Mr Hyde. Where he is ideal for the job with his wily physicality and glowering transformations from stooped to feral being, Joanna Miller matches him for tenderness as love-starved Eleanor, the wife of best friend Lanyon who craves the manliness and danger Hyde entails. John Gully completes the cast as Jekyll’s concerned pal and lawyer Utterson to lend contrast and setting; a barometer of correctness in a Victorian era where science was often feared.

The Strange Case is on tonight (Friday, September 28, 2012) and Saturday (September 29) at this Nether Edge theatre. The tour finds Barnsley Civic Theatre on October 5 and 6 and Doncaster Civic Theatre on November 28.