Original Story: Robert Louis Stevenson
Adaptation: James Hyland
Director: Phil Lowe
Brother Wolf strip back Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story to focus on the human mind in a way that provokes discussion and sends fear rippling through the audience.
With the run time being an hour James Hyland condenses and focuses the story through the eyes of Jekyll, who is presenting the findings of his experiment as a lecture, which works well with the psychology of the piece. Bookending the performance is the message ‘I am Mr Hyde and you are Mr Seek’ and it’s particularly the closing minutes of the show where it displays that and challenges onlookers about whether they are more of a Jekyll or a Hyde.
Hyland not only adapts the piece but performs it too. At the start he appears as the upstanding Doctor, it’s not long into the show when little glimpses of Mr Hyde come through. Hyland moves between characters in a split second with jerk movements helping this. It’s slick and it’s terrifyingly fast how quick he transforms from one to the other in mind, body and voice.
During this performance, it was so tense one audience member gasped with a curse and it was understandable as Hyland had the onlookers in the palm of his hand listening to his every word. You didn’t know what he was going to do and get that stuck in the play you question just how far the character would go and how the night will end.
The atmosphere only intensifies when the lighting by Director Phil Lowe gets darker and darker and Hyde grows more and more sinister. Directly addressing the audience while waving a knife controllably makes the atmosphere in the MET claustrophobic and uncomfortable.
It all leads up to the climactic end which was a terrifying but gripping experience. It’s not for the faint hearted, particularly if you sit in the front row but this classic gothic horror has been transformed into a spinetingling piece of theatre that will leave you with your heart in your mouth.
*A complimentary ticket was given in exchange for this review. This value for money rating is based on the ticket price value of £15. For more info on this value for money rating please visit here: Introducing a new kind of rating