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Jekyll and Hyde is the story of good and evil encapsulated in one man. But there was nothing ‘evil’ about Lichfield Operatic Society’s production of the musical of the story – it was good – in fact it was very, very good. And that’s putting it mildly.
The show at the Garrick this week would put any West End production to shame. A huge cast acted and sang their way through this often complicated score with consummate ease – it was just magical. Eoin Edwards’ portrayal of the good Jekyll and the evil Hyde was truly remarkable. It was vocally superb and brilliantly acted. He had the audience in the palm of his hand from beginning to end. His performance was simply stunning – but this certainly was not a one-man show.
I have long been a big fan of Lichfield Operatic Society, but this time the company really excelled itself. Kerri Davies turned in an exceptional performance as a leading ‘lady of the night’ – another excellent portrayal from this talented actress.
Paul Roberts as John Utterson was vocally superb as usual and proved an asset in his first show with this company. There are really too many people to name, but I enjoyed Emma Carew as Jekyll’s finance and Mark Johnson who got the absolute best out of his cameo role of Spider – fabulous voice!
Many of the songs from this show – lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and music by Frank Wildhorn – aren’t particularly well known. I loved Girls of the Night and In His Eyes – just two of the many memorable songs.
Julie Mallaband’s direction, Oliver Rowe’s musical direction and Jenna Tiso’s choreography were inspired – a very talented trio indeed.
And finally, a word about the lighting. I know I’m always singing the praises of lighting designer Stephen Rainsford but this time he excelled himself. This show depends so much on the creation of the right atmosphere and Stephen’s lighting more than enhanced every scene. Brilliant! And the authentic costumes added an extra dimension to this thrilling piece of theatre.
Jekyll and Hyde runs at the Lichfield Garrick until Saturday, November 6, with a matinee at 2.30pm and evening performance at 7.30pm. If you haven’t managed to catch it during the week, try to get tickets for today. You won’t be disappointed. Call the box office on 01543 412121 or book online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.
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