‘Don’t Tickle Teddy in the Forest…’ Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Orchard Theatre, Dartford. 13.03.2018

Jekyll and hydeI was back at the Orchard Theatre a week later, again to see a thriller and new to me. I was very interested to see if this one would take my attention!

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde is a play adaption of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Gothic Thriller Classic, telling the story of respectable Dr Jekyll who takes on a secret experiment which splits his personality into two, releasing the fiendish and murderous Edward Hyde. Hyde starts to bring terror and death to London, its up to Jekyll to find a way to end his evil alter-ego, before Hyde stays for good.

Kate Saxon takes on the direction of the performance, her gothic stylised approach to the play along with the stunning setting and lighting effects by Simon Higlett and Mark Jonathan is beautiful to watch that it was unfortunate that David Edgar’s adaptation ofJekyll and Hyde 1 the book was a disappointment. I found that the story took too long to get going, which led to too much information that if missed you lost the story, which leaves you confused**. There was also not enough action to keep my interest and only a few chilling moments  such as the brutal murder of an MP, and Anne’s confrontation to Hyde, it just left me wanting more. However again there is not denying that this productions is stunning to watch, with swift scene changes.

The actors and actresses tonight displayed some amazing talent:

Dr Jekyll and Hyde – Phil Daniels

Lucy/Maid/Singer – Rosie Abraham

Poole – Sam Cox

Katherine – Polly Frame

Charles – Anyebe Godwin

Annie – Grace Hogg-Robinson

Dr Lanyon/Carew – Ben Jones

Utterson – Robin Kingsland

Enfield/Parson – Matthew Romain

Ensemble – Alice Bonifacio, Paul Giddings, Sam Johnson

Jekyll and Hyde 2

Phil Daniels takes on the iconic role of Dr Jekyll and Hyde, to which he displays brilliant throughout! With each transition clearly displayed for each character, his Hyde was chilling and creepy but also strong and powerful. A comparison to his kind, sophisticated Jekyll. Grace Hogg- Robinson was also great in her role as Annie, displaying all emotions of her character greatly for the audience for feel for her throughout the story.

Another mention goes to Rosie Abraham’s singing, which helped heighten the atmosphere sending chills down the spine with each lyric she sung.

There is no denying that the cast are talented and excellent within their roles, bringing the classic to life. Visually stunning, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’s play adaption and script lets it self down.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde plays at the Orchard Theatre until Saturday 17th March 2018, for all ticket information go here. It will then continue on its UK tour, for all information go here.

** Although my views on this performance reflect what I have put. I found this production difficult to review, due to the distractions caused by others in the audience which led to me missing much of the script of the performance. It was unfortunate as had I of been able to view the performance without the distractions, it may have given me a different outlook.  If i am given the chance to view this production again, I would be more than happy to do so.



  1 comment for “‘Don’t Tickle Teddy in the Forest…’ Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Orchard Theatre, Dartford. 13.03.2018

  1. David Hanlon
    May 18, 2018 at 10:05 pm

    No it wasn’t you being distracted. I’m watching it right now (this is the end of 1st act) and it’s boring so far. The story moves too slowly, the dialogue is too quiet and the acting is quite wooden. I particularly dislike the main characters, which is unfortunate: they simply aren’t coming across as believable (in the context of the play) and I’m baffled as to why Jekyl has a nephew who’s black and a neice who’s white… It’s a bizarre casting choice. Maybe there is a point to this late Rin the play, but right now it’s just weird.

    I’m hoping the second half is better!

    Nope it was actually worse….

    My main issue with this play was Daniels performance: I found him to be lacking any emotional range with his performance coming across as wooden and boring. Daniels’ delivery sounded like he was he was reading his lines for the for the first time, they carried no real weight; they bore no emotion; he simply didn’t give life to his Character at all… I felt as if I were watching a dress rehearsal as Daniels ran through he lines and stared into the middle distance.

    Other cast members may as well have taken the day off for all the attention Daniels paid to their performances: he actually didn’t appear aware that he shared the stage with other actors most of the time and his Hyde dialogue was virtually unintelligible. It was like he was channeling Billie Connolly when playjng Jekyll and Rab C Nesbitt when playjng Hyde.

    The story was unnecessarily changed. Less is often more, especially with live theatre. While the stage lighting and sets were very good, with excellent scene changes: these changes, while full visible didn’t actually register as scenery changes, and they were very well choreographed, being almost organic… The way the set changed slowly as items were swapped out, moved and brought on stage in twilight made for a fascinating little side show and gave insight into the clever design and thought that’s gone into the creation of the versatile set. It’s a shame the story and acting weren’t of a similar quality.

    There was no need for the sister, the children, the maid, the ‘rape’, the portrait of the father… These were all boring, superfluous details Taht added nothing anddrew out an already tedious adaptation.

    There’s a scene that’s suppose to be on a train that is especially weird and pointelss. That could have been cut without anyone caring. In fact if you skipped the first half entirely you’d miss nothing… Anyone who’s read (and enjoyed) the book would be appalled by this butchery of the plot.

    Frankly if it had been the same set and lighting, but only three cast members and 45 min shorter, it would have been so much more enjoyable.

    I came out feeling like I’d been robbed of my ticket price and wasn’t entertained in the slightest.

    You may see it and have a different opinion: these are after all only my personal thoughts on what I’ve just watched, however, if you were expecting / hoping for a faithful rendition of a much loved classic story, this is not the play for you.

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