Gary McNair’s adaptation of the Unusual Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for the opening play in Studying Rep’s tenth anniversary season at its elegant new dwelling seems to have returned to the supply and tells the story by the eyes of a lawyer good friend of Jekyll, Gabriel Utterson who seeks to unravel the thriller of a succession of horrific brutal assaults within the streets round his dwelling. It’s a easy and daring system however succeeds as a result of they’ve been lucky to safe the great Audrey Brisson to play Utterson and all of the characters he meets.
She switches between the characters with a easy prop and a slight adjustment in her voice and tone. She turns into Dr Hastie Lanyon, Jekyll’s scientist good friend with a pair of pince-nez glasses, Mr Poole, his butler, by clasping a bowler hat to her chest, the lawyer’s good friend, Richard Enfield with a pair of braces and Jekyll himself is represented by the bowler. Director Michael Fentiman helps her paint footage of the sights and sounds along with her bodily positioning and exact well-judged supply of the phrases.
Her efficiency is enhanced by an beautiful lighting plot by Emily Irish from the white spots stage left and proper and above the raised platform and a easy door define on the rear wall to signify the doorway by which the notorious Mr Hyde has been seen to move. The clouds of haze rising by the platform add to the atmospheric setting round Brisson in entrance of the black field stage. She solely leaves the platform to stroll round it because the streets round his dwelling and to climb to the door. When Utterson breaks down the door to enter the lighting modifications eerily and cleverly to disclose the particular person he meets inside.
The impact is to downplay the same old presentation of the bodily transformation of Jekyll into Hyde and focus extra on the duality of human nature, the wrestle between good and the evil of base impulses and the risks of drug habit. There’s additionally a curious reference to Stevenson’s birthplace dismissing somebody as a “hideous native from Scotland”. However there’s additionally a touch of Jodie Nook’s Prima Facie about how attorneys behave with Utterson saying “I’m not the nice man”, caught between the loyalty to their shopper and appearing to guard the broader public. We’re left with a transparent impression of the wrestle inside Jekyll and the impression it had on his small loyal group of acquaintances however most of all simply overwhelmed by the sheer high quality, and interesting appeal of Audrey Brisson herself and really feel privileged to see her carry out in such an intimate venue as Studying Rep.
Evaluation by Nick Wayne
Value of Ticket: Row C | Value of Ticket: £19.50