A play that made me think both Jekyll And Hyde are heaps of fun
I’ll start by saying I don’t know much about Jekyll and Hyde.
I mean, I know the urban dictionary meaning, I can use the term in a sentence, but the actual story of Jekyll and Hyde is something I’ve somehow managed to unintentionally avoid all these years.
Which one would I like? Is Jekyll the cool one, or is Hyde the hero?
So in attending a performance of said Jekyll and Hyde, anything could have happened and I wasn’t disappointed as anything kind of did.
Entering the theatre, a sense of both excited anticipation and desperate dread descended.
There were five actors/characters, all dressed in various collections of black and white, vibrantly talking to the audience as we all walked in and seated ourselves.
I snuck in quietly, hugging my glass of red for protection, feeling slightly Jekyll and Hydeish myself; one part of me desperately hoping they wouldn’t start talking to me, while also being somewhat jealous of the funny conversations I could hear floating around the room and wondering why they didn’t pick me; but I just pushed that feeling down and continued on my way.
Clearly confident and comfortable in their characters’ shoes, each performer so similar in traits, but each bringing a little of their own to the stage.
As the doors close and the performance unfolded, it became apparent why audience conversation was so important, as the play centres around both the characters on stage and the characters in the crowd, each of the actors playing “Dr Jekyll” in turn, who has had, and continued to have encounters with these audience members throughout the play.
It was fascinating watching the script evolve with such simple propping and an unsuspecting audience and the absolute professionalism and talent of each performer working with the unknown and each other to create comedy, tension and more comedy was mesmerising.
Their ability to take a tale written in 1886 and bring the characters into current day society was interesting enough, but throw a global pandemic in the mix and they did such a great job of making light of the serious nature of social distancing, which became a central comedic theme, and added to the awkward but so hilarious nature of audience participation.
I’ll end by saying I walked into Jekyll and Hyde not knowing who they were or what to expect, but I left actually liking both of them.
I myself felt all Jekyll and so happy on my way out of the theatre, but turned only slightly Hyde-ish when I realised the Powerhouse bars were already dark and closed at 7.30pm on a Sunday evening (what is that about Brisbane?!?!)
Besides that, my mood couldn’t be dampened after seeing such an entertaining performance and also having discovered a production company I plan on seeing again and again, as the team at A Slightly Isolated Dog somehow managed to make the uncomfortable so comfortable; so much so I hope they pick me to play next time!