Amy Child reviews the Nottingham New Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde & Hilda & Martin.
Everyone knows the classic tale of Jekyll and Hyde. A scientist, longing to separate good from evil for the betterment of mankind, accidentally gives himself an evil alter-ego by the name of Hyde… and another by the name of Hilda… and one more called Martin. Oh, and then there’s a zombie apocalypse. At least, I think that’s how it goes.
Let’s cut to the chase: this play was bloody brilliant. I went in not knowing exactly what to expect, but this blew all of my expectations out of the water. Firstly, the set was incredible. It started as a wall indicative of the general ‘outside’ which opened out into Jekyll’s living room, furnished with a gramophone, desk, sofa, table and shelves. This wall was opened and closed multiple times during the play, giving the impression of many different settings, and projections on the wall told the audience where each scene was taking place.
The script was witty, playful and outlandishly creative
Secondly, the acting in this play was exceptional. I really couldn’t praise it enough. Every single one of the cast members gave a hilarious, energetic and stellar performance. The acting contained so much physicality which brought the characters to life and I loved every one of them.
I would have to say, though, the particular cast members who stood out to me were Max Isherwood as Martin, Izzy K-G as multirole, and Jess Beadle-Platt as Doctor Lanyon. They captured their characters perfectly and made the audience laugh with every line.
Speaking of laughing, I feel I need to stress that this play was genuinely hilarious. The script was witty, playful and outlandishly creative. The literature student in me adored the cameos from characters such as Dorian Gray, Doctor Frankenstein, Elizabeth Bennett and Lady Bracknell, as well as the references to other works of Victorian literature. The writer and director, Nicholas Landon, is going to go far producing work of such an incredible standard. I would eagerly go to see anything else he writes from this point on.
It was of a professional standard and by far my favourite play that I’ve seen at NNT
Another brilliant aspect of this play was that the humour didn’t falter between scenes. Even when the set was being changed, every element of the play added to the comedy, from the peculiar song choices, to the stage hands dancing, to the projections on the wall. I believe the mirror also deserves a special mention, because it was so much fun watching the characters go in and out of it. Similarly, the excellent sound and lighting, which added so much to the performance, deserves a round of applause. There were some truly talented people both onstage and behind the scenes of this production.
My tickets for this play were given to me by Impact and it feels like a crime that I got to experience it for free. I can genuinely say that I enjoyed it more than many productions I’ve paid to see. It was of a professional standard and by far my favourite play that I’ve seen at NNT. If you can, you have to go and watch it. There’s no better way to spend £4.
Featured image courtesy of The Nottingham New Theatre via Facebook. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of @jekyll.nnt via @instagram.com. No changes were made to these images.
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