From the moment the curtains part and the music starts, Gold Coast Little Theatre’s production of Jekyll & Hyde is simply divine. Directed by Stuart Morgan, with Music Direction from Ann Sparks and Choreography from Hayley Green, Gold Coast Little Theatre’s Jekyll & Hyde is a perfect night out at the theatre.
Featuring the hauntingly beautiful music from Frank Wildhorn and a book and lyrics from Leslie Bricusse, this show is one not to miss. This musical from 1990 premiered in Houston, Texas and debute on Broadway in 1997. Loosely based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, it is a classic story of good and evil, all wrapped up in one dangerous package. The intelligent and highly respected, Dr Jekyll, grapples to overcome his alter ego, the sinister and murderous Mr. Hyde. This gothic tale plunges audiences deep into the sinister depths of the human mind.
Stuart Morgan’s direction is clear, powerful and shows considerable skill for dissecting this complex text. The audience is enraptured with this story from the moment it opens and this is largely due to the directorial decisions. The action flows smoothly from one scene to the next and the transitions are managed with expert skill and minimal disruption.
Hayley Green’s choreography is amazing. One of the standout choreography moments is ‘Bring On The Men’ but it is certainly not the only one in this show. Ann Sparks’ musical direction is spectacular, leading to the cast nailing the delivery of some very complex musical numbers with ease.
The visual design of this production is absolutely sensational. Andrew Borg & Hayden Schokman’s lighting is moody, perfectly setting up the emotions of each scene. Dr Jekyll’s laboratory designed by Stuart Morgan and Todd Jesson is stunning and forms the centrepiece of the visual design of this show. All of this is beautifully supported by clever costumes designed by Shirley Whitehouse and props from Sue Lenton.
The only technical aspect of this production that is a little bit of a letdown is the sound. With numerous microphone issues on the night, it’s hard not to notice. However, given this is opening night, these sound hiccups are sure to be ironed out as the season progresses.
And now we get to the best part… the performers. And wow! What a stunning cast this is. Gold Coast Little Theatre has really outdone themselves with the group of stellar performers that comprise the company of Jekyll & Hyde.
Todd Jesson in the titular role of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde is absolutely mesmerising. Jesson’s performance highlights his immense skill and talent and is a joy to experience. In particular, Jesson shines in the moments where he adopts the Hyde persona; showcasing immense range. Jesson’s rendition of the notoriously challenging ‘The Confrontation’ is simply perfect. Bravo!
In the roles of Emma Carew and Lucy Harris, Chloe Smith and Cat Deller respectively are both talented, skilled performers who bring their own style and characterisation to these roles. Smith is an absolute standout of this production with a beautiful voice that soars through the theatre and tugs on the audience’s heartstrings. Deller’s characterisation of Lucy is spectacular and her powerhouse vocals are simply to die for.
The supporting cast includes Matthew McKenzie as John Utterson, Chris Catherwood as Sir Danvers Carew, Jeffery Walker as Poole, Joe Bourke Jr as Lord Savage, Melissa Quirk as Lady Beaconsfield/Nellie, Greg Fox as the Bishop, Beau Frigault as Sir Archibold Proops / Spider and Stephen Nash as General Lord Glossop. Each and every one of these performers bring so much passion, talent and skill to these roles. Bravo! Matthew McKenzie is a particular standout with a wonderful stage presence and gorgeous voice.
No review of this production would be complete without mention of the stunning ensemble that builds out the world of this show. The ensemble includes Flynn Anderson, Hannah Collins, Jenny Dimitrov, Bella Janssen, Johnny Lawler, Jam Marshall, Ricky Moss, Georgia Waters, Denis Watkins and Tabitha Woods. They are all so talented and bring so much energy to their performances throughout this show. Bravo!
Overall, this production is something truly amazing and a wonderful night out at the theatre. Bravo Gold Coast highly recommends this show for anyone who loves the theatre, musicals or something a little bit dark and gothic.
Jekyll & Hyde will play at Gold Coast Little Theatre until 1 October and tickets are on sale here.