BWW Review: JEKYLL & HYDE at Pumphouse Theatre Takapuna
Eerie Drama compels at The Pumphouse Theatre Takapuna
I enjoy a good power ballad; one that rouses and stirs. I also like a good drama.
I was therefore in the right place at North Shore Music Theatre's production of Jekyll and Hyde at the Pumphouse theatre last night.
Written by Leslie Bricusse with music by Frank Wildhorn, the musical is based on the classic novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. It explores a scientist's epic struggle between good and evil. In an experiment gone awry, Dr Jekyll releases a diabolical alter ego (Mr Hyde) onto the streets of Victorian London. His internal torture and torment is brought down heavily upon friends, colleagues and loved ones.
Auckland audiences have come to expect only the best from Musical Director Catherine Carr and she once again delivers. The music is powerful and very moving. There is very little dialogue with the story told through the music. Strong singing voices are therefore a must and they were there. The singing is fabulous.
Clever staging meant that the orchestra was visible on stage which is a personal favourite and particularly appropriate for this show.
I'm reluctant to name names because the cast are collaboratively a powerhouse of rousing voice, appropriate in tone and timbre; engaging us in the dramatic tale of good and evil.
Steve O'Reilly met the demanding task of the duality of the character/s Jekyll and Hyde with ease. He maintains energy throughout the show and one cannot help but be drawn in to both the emotion and beauty of his voice.
Sophia Pedersen plays the ill-fated Lucy Harris, the prostitute who finds an unfortunately passive protector in the noble Dr. Jekyll and a still more unfortunately aggressive abuser in his bloodthirsty alter ego. She's sensational.
There are plenty of characters to keep the interest up and they entertain; all credible in their roles and authentic to Victorian times.
The 3 dancers who represent the evilness of Hyde are engaging and add an eerie element.
Notable was the lighting in this show. Creating the dramatic atmosphere of Victorian London and the drama of the story was crucial and it delivered. From the moment of entering the theatre to the end of the show when O'Reilly flicks between Jekyll and Hyde when he sings Confrontation, the lighting was on point.
Accolades must go to Matt Johnson and his team for the creative lighting work and perfect timing.
It's that time of year when we're all a bit tired, Christmas and looming and we could do with some time out and great entertainment. Get yourselves along and see this show. There's only a few shows left and if you can't find an evening there's a 2pm matinee there just for you!