Jekyll & Hyde and Nerve
Reality Rating: 2/5
Fidget Factor: 0.7
Not Always What They Seem
Two one act plays, Jekyll & Hyde and Nerve – titles and synopsis of both plays are largely misleading. Jekyll & Hyde, inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s gothic novel was not the ‘fast paced drama that blurs lines between good and evil, insanity and monsters’ as suggested. Instead, it tackled one too many issues; drug and drinking addiction, assisted dying and motor neurone disease. As the play developed it was more about our choices, when directly involved or passive. No sign of hysteria or demons. Nerve also explores a topic too many, with unwanted pregnancy, smoking when with child and abortion to begin with then murder to finish. Both plays have potential and the style of writing allows for a naturalistic production, these could be an impressive set if the topics challenged were stripped back and given full focus.
The writing may not have lifted from the page, however actresses Charlie Howitt and Kate Novak both give natural, robust performances. Howitt displays a convincing Scottish accent in the first play and switches to a London tone for the second. Novak has a great ability to make conversation seem familiar, no thought pauses for text – conversation flowing with ease, unforced and instinctive. Unfortunately, their counterparts were not as authentic. Lots of comedic opportunities missed due to lack of comic timing and undeveloped characters.
Both productions would suit a smaller space, where the audience could feel close to the action. The conversational nature and living room setting cause for the audience to play a voyeuristic role, with the large open space of Greenwich theatre, this intimacy is lost.
You can catch this new set of writing on tour around the UK.
Click for Tix: @Greenwich
Time: 2 x 1 Hour Plays
♥ Thank you to Tilly Wilson @ChloeNelkin for the invite
♥ Illustration to come…