REVIEW: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at Riverhead Theatre

Share this article

YOU know, without any shadow of a doubt, that a play directed by Brian Cliffe is going to be good. Remarkable. Outstanding.

In fact, very few words can actually describe the attention to intricate detail and the dedication that Brian takes in his directing, and not just during the rehearsal process but for months beforehand too.

It is for those reasons that Jekyll & Hyde is one of the most enjoyable pieces of theatre that, without sounding clichéd, I have ever seen.

There are dozens of stage and film adaptations of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic 1886 novel (The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde), although there have been no major adaptations (so far) that remain faithful to Stevenson’s original.

Leonard H Caddy’s version is a thoroughly enjoyable and clever adaptation with a wordy yet captivating script.

Alongside Brian Cliffe has been Mike Gibson; new to the directing aspect of theatre but certainly no stranger to the stage, and between them they have created a masterpiece with true Victorian authenticity and a spine-chilling atmosphere from the ground-trembling start through to the dark, gloomy end.

Of course, even the greatest of direction relies upon a strong cast, and the cast of Jekyll & Hyde is most definitely that.

Each and every scene is teeming with talent and the actors’ passion for what they do so very well is highlighted throughout.

Whilst each and every actor is superb, a special mention must go to the magnificently talented John Elliott who plays the part of Dr Jekyll/Edward Hyde with such remarkable contrast and power – you cannot help but watch in admiration of his abilities.

As with any production, the backstage teams assist in bringing the action into another dimension with stunning sets, authentic props, detailed lighting and highly atmospheric sounds.

Louth is very lucky to have a performance of such calibre and perfection – make sure that you book now to avoid huge, huge disappointment.

Review by Stuart Spendlow