Looking for a good-time musical, loaded with songs of hope and love?
Well then, move along, please. Your sort ain’t wanted round here.
This is a Jekyll & Hyde review, after all. A musical based on one of the great Gothic masterpieces, with a heart as dark as a coal cellar at midnight.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale of a good doctor and his evil alter ego was written in 1886, two years before the Jack The Ripper murders scarred London’s East End.
Stevenson clearly understood the nature of his times.
But it’s a tale for our times, too. A fable that can be interpreted in many ways.
It’s about the duality of human nature; the hypocrisy of polite society; the suppression of our darker needs; or maybe even a warning against the depravity of drug addiction.
Stevenson’s original is a brief yarn, with the sex and slaughter only suggested.
Everything is more explicit in the musical, with groping and gouging a-plenty.
And good fun it is, too.
A love triangle is also added, with Jekyll falling for a high society dame and a prostitute from the streets.
Perhaps it should be called a love square, since Hyde gets in on the action, too.
Former Wet, Wet, Wet vocalist, Marti Pellow, struggles to inject life into the dull Jekyll, but has lots of ferocious fun with the uninhibited Hyde.
It really is quite a performance, especially since Pellow transforms himself without the aid of make-up.
Marti is the star turn, but Sabrina Carter, as Lucy the floozy, and Sarah Earnshaw, as posh totty, Emma, are also excellent.
Especially Sabrina, who sings with power, versatility and a cunning sense of drama.
Unfortunately there are no stand-out songs, and the music lacks variety.
Even so, Jekyll & Hyde is a fun night of gore plus more for all the family.
(Though probably only if you’re the Addams Family.)
Until Sat April 9
Rating * * *