I sat in the theatre thinking, it will be alright, after all he doesn’t need to do ‘sexy’ in this production. Oh how wrong I was. Turns out that Mr Hyde is all about sleaze and physical lust and cruelty and that’s something that the main actor just couldn’t do.
I saw Marti Pellow at the Hippodrome two years ago and spent more than half the performance wishing I was anywhere else. Beautifully colourful scenery, great choreography and a brilliant story but all fell flat as soon as Pellow was anywhere on stage. He was the main character there too.
My belief that it was hard to live up to Jack Nicholson’s wicked performance in the movie was destroyed with Pellow’s ability to drain all energy out of the air with his very presence.
The musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel didn’t help of course. The weak dialogue was just filler between the endless singing.
The painful simmering smile on his fiance’s face which made it a shame she sang so beautifully. In fact they all sang wonderfully but the acting wasn’t so successful. A duet between Dr Jekyll and his fiancee Emma seemed to go on forever and I wonder whether there was anything significant towards the end of the show to justify it.
I would love to say that I walked out half way through but the truth is I had to leave for a home emergency and I’m not really sorry to have done so.
The production seemed out of sync with itself and I’m not sure if it was just Pellow or the cheesy ‘ragamuffin’-esque caricatures of characters. Slight homage to the cat bin lady could have been funnier.
Ah well. Lessons learned and all that. To quote George Bush, you can’t fool me twice. Shame on me.
Bristol Hippodrome, Jekyll and Hyde runs until May 14.