Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Springers at the Civic

I struggle to be inspired by Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical. Frank Wildhorn's meandering melodies. Leslie Bricusse's limp lyrics. The anachronistic book.

But Springers clearly have no such problems, and gave the show a brilliant production at the Civic Theatre.

Eric Smart used his chorus effectively: grouping and singing were dramatically powerful. The scenery was well designed and evocative; Phill Knight's lighting design was superb. The wigs and costumes were less impressive, but the stage pictures were frequently arresting – the duet In His Eyes, the Prologue, the Façade street scene, the melodramatic wedding.

I liked the Goth bookends – the Sinister Assistants – and masks were used to good effect. Sax and sex in the Red Rat [just down the road from The Three Cripples] introduced Deborah Anderson's impeccable Lucy, the good-time girl who tempts both Jekyll and Hyde.

The tormented doctor, given a stag night and a motive for murder in this version, was played by Simon Brett – a once in a lifetime opportunity he seized with enthusiasm. His final confrontation was a tour-de-force, and he made the most of the one memorable number in the show. His intended was Olivia Gooding, with Andy Hall as her father.

The assistant director was Steve Holding, choreography was by Jacqui Tear, and the MD was Ian Myers.

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