I was gifted two tickets to this production in exchange for my honest review. This in no way alters my opinion.
Long time readers of this blog will be well aware of my long-standing love for all things gothic. As such, it will probably be of no surprise to them that I jumped at the chance to see Jekyll & Hyde The Musical when Darlington Hippodrome got in touch.
This musical adaptation of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde promised to be thrilling and dramatic. It certainly delivered on that promise. It is not entirely true to the original but the updates feel fresh, fitting and in some places, really quite funny.
From the first spotlight on Dr Jekyll, who was expertly played by Julian Cound, it was clear that this was a show that thrives on punchy drama and yearns to make an impact on the audience in front of them. The tension slowly builds to a dramatic transformation where Cound truly shows his talent. I found myself inching forward in my seat as we watched Dr Jekyll’s descent into the vicious Mr Hyde.
While Cound undoubtedly delivers on the acting and vocals of this challenging role, I was also captivated by the chorus that surrounds him. Their numbers were some of my favourites from the performances and a real pleasure to watch. They also provided some much needed comic relief with their witty songs and dark humour.
I also cannot write this review without mentioning the utterly captivating performances of Lucy and Emma in the second half. They really came into their own and showed their significant talent and skill. Their duet was a thing of magic , let me tell you.
Paired with a wonderfully clever set and some beautiful costumes, this show is a clear indicator of the theatrical talent in Darlington. This is not only true of the performers on the stage but every member of the Darlington Operatic Society who contributed to a wonderful and dramatic gothic treat.