Jekyll & Hyde ★★★ (Chickenshed, 17 October 2018)

Chickenshed's production is admirable, taking Stevenson's text and creating a sung-through musical, with its main focus to captivate a teenage audience. This makes for engaging viewing for young people, with the production chronologically re-ordered with the finer details removed. Despite the minor issues this simplifying creates, the engagement they manage to achieve from a teenage school audience was astonishing.

Entering the theatre, you are immersed in a Victorian London, with the traverse staging being a street leading to Jekyll's front door. The set is excellent, designed by Constance Villemot, with a multitude of doors leading off the street and a victorian bridge at one end.

The moments that shine are Jekyll's transformations - Nathaniel Leigertwood has excellent physicality in this lead role, and his hip-hop style movement sections captured the audience. The casting throughout in fact is wonderful - as can be expected from Chickenshed, the cast are diverse, full of youthful energy, and inclusive. This really is where their strengths lie - even when vocal range may be slightly challenging for them or wordy rapping difficult to enunciate, the fact that the teenage audience can see themselves reflected in the company captures their attention, and the spirited performers do not let them go.




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