6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Theatre review - Jekyll & Hyde, Burnley Mechanics Theatre

PUBLISHED: 10:47 15 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:47 15 November 2017

“Jekyll & Hyde”, Burnley Light Operatics Society, Burnley Mechanics Theatre

“Jekyll & Hyde”, Burnley Light Operatics Society, Burnley Mechanics Theatre

Archant

Rob Gemmell reviews the Burnley Light Operatics Society production.

A hush came over the audience as the lights were dimmed at the Mechanics Theatre in Burnley and we were transported back to London in 1888 to the time of a very famous doctor.

I am never failed to be impressed by a show put on by the inspiring Burnley Light Operatics Society and I am always surrounded by intrigue as to how I could be left in awe once again. No sooner had the lights dimmed when a crisp projected digital image of a hospital covered the back of the stage giving so much depth as the tale began to unfold and I knew, once again, I was about to be enthralled.

The story of Jekyll and Hyde is known all around the world and you will be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of it. Doctor Henry Jekyll is a scientist and, through his many concoctions created in his laboratory, may have found a potion that could eradicate the evil from people and leave only good. His fellow scholars label him as a mad man and a fool to think it would ever be possible. Potential financial backers disregard his preposterous suggestion and turn their backs on him which adds fuel to the fire and only pushes Jekyll further into his experiment. Despite the warning from close friends and future family, he perseveres with his experiments which only isolate him from the world that surrounds him, pushes him further inside himself and reveals more than he bargained for.

With a story of such scale and magnitude comes a large canvas to paint the art on. As locations changed, so did that of the digital image on the back-stage projecting streets of London, Jekyll’s lab and also the bars, taverns and surrounding streets that often get paid a visit. The transition from scene to scene were flawless and opened up a new world of stage production which allowed the show to play in a more cinematic way. All that was required now was cast of pure talent, an ensemble of support both on stage and in front of it, offering musical accompaniment and a truly unforgettable production. That was exactly what we got.

No sooner had Andrew Tuton graced us with his first vocal performance as Dr. Jekyll that the rest of the show was set up for us. The professionalism of his performance was not just in his ability to sing, but also to portray two very different personalities within his depiction which was simplistic, but wonderfully pulled off as we gradually get introduced to the other character in question, Mr. Hyde. With a wonderful leading role came an equally wonderful supporting cast headed up by Jenny Gill as Jekyll’s love interest, Emma Carew and Zoe Tompkins as Lucy Harris. Both leading ladies performed breath-taking performances with truly mesmerising singing voices that reverberated around us as we were pulled further in to the show. The ensemble were made up of some of the best supporting performances and choruses that I have witnessed on an amateur stage with credit going to Geoff Baron, Robin Knipe, Alan Whittaker, Peter Rigney, Steven Mercer, Martin Chadwick, Mick Dawson, Liz Wood, John Huyton, Tony Lewis, the ever-popular Joanne Gill and one of the stand outs, the dark, sinister, but also soulful portrayal of Spider by Danny Morville.

The captivating performances were all brought together once again by a formidable partnership of Anthony Williams, the Director and Choreographer and the Musical Director, Simon Murray. The choreography, not only of the dancing and singing, but the acting was stunning. Not a step was out of place, nor a note sung out of key. It was a blend of perfection capitalised by the support of the truly magnificent orchestra who brought the whole show to the forefront with bellowing rhythms, all under the watchful eye of Simon Murray. The orchestra performed with a blissful ease as the soundtrack of the show was presented to us, but also with magical moments from the slightest movement from percussion or a quiet haunting melody so subtle, but so rich and vibrant in the piece that it gave it a mesmerising, but tranquil feel.

Much like Anniversaries, Birthdays and Christmas, the Burnley Light Operatics Society’s shows have become a regular annual fixture on my calendar and I implore people to do the same. I mention this regularly in my reviews and having been fortunate enough to have met the Chairman of the society, Mr. David Gill, I regret not asking him if the use of the term “amateur production” was actually a misprint. I honestly believe these performances are anything but amateur.

burnleymechanics.co.uk

www.robgemmell.co.uk

More from Out & About

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ever wondered how Clitheroe Castle got that huge hole in its tower? John Lenehan might have the answer after this walk from Sabden.

Read more
Ribble Valley Walks

Overseas royalty and fashion designers have fallen in love with a not so humble Lancashire horse blanket made on the moors above Darwen.

Read more

While many people head north towards the Lake District for walking, the city of Lancaster has plenty on offer for ramblers.

Read more
Lancaster Canals
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The trail of storm devastation wreaked on Lancashire’s Beacon Fell has cleared the way for a new era of care for our countryside, writes Cathy Darby.

Read more
Friday, June 1, 2018

You don’t have to travel abroad to enjoy a perfect summer holiday. Here’s a round-up of some fantastic destinations across the region.

Read more
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Children now spend less time playing in nature than their parents did, The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Molly Toal discusses

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

There are few finer thing than exploring the countryside surrounding the many rivers situated across the county.

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hearty breakfasts and delicious dinners are just two reasons for walking in this stunning area, as John Lenehan discovers

Read more
Bowland Walks
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Victoria Smith always loved horses but her high pressure job meant she had little time to ride – until she met a deer in the Forest of Bowland

Read more
Equestrian
Monday, May 14, 2018

Developments underway and planned around the city are celebrating its proud heritage and building for the future

Read more
Preston
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

For almost 25 years, outdoor writers and photographers Dennis and Jan Kelsall have produced guides and articles covering many of the country’s popular walking destinations. Here, Dennis picks five of his favourites.

Read more
Lancaster
Friday, May 4, 2018

Ramsbottom is well known for its food and drink scene, but Rebekka O’Grady meets some arty residents that will inspire your creative side.

Read more
Ramsbottom
Thursday, May 3, 2018

A devastating riding accident may have saved Katherine Beaumont from a life of anxiety and stress. Now she is sharing her experience.

Read more
Equestrian

A unique community musical in Wigan is taking one of George Orwell’s most famous works from the page to the stage and making a song and dance about social inequality.

Read more
Wigan
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy



Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search