T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh

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Possibly not the Les Mis of the future...

Just got in from seeing Jekyll & Hyde - The Musical. Seems you really can turn anything into a musical these days. I saw this for two reasons, 1) because Paul Nicholas was in the lead role/s and 2) sheer morbid curiosity. Paul Nicholas, for the uninitated, was the original Rum Tum Tugger in Cats. I'd also heard bits of the music online and decreed it to be at least fairly entertaining.

It was a musical. I like musicals. Therefore, it was of the good. Some of the cast were very, very good, some just average, and it had a few pretty songs that are worth probably buying the soundtrack for. Paul Nicholas had a bad throat and it did affect his performance somewhat, but given that winter is upon us and he's not getting any younger, and he has to play quite a physically demanding role including two different voices for Jekyll and Hyde respectively, it's hardly surprising. All kudos to him for performing, I say.

His two female co-stars, one playing his fiancée Lisa and the other playing the Angsty Prostitute Lucy, were both excellent, as were the rest of the female cast, and they stole the show. Both had some pretty ballad-y songs that worked well, and a duet that was quite pleasant. Some of the other characters were a little underused, though, serving only to provide Hyde with a few victims sought in revenge more than anything else, and for the most part, they might as well have not existed. That being said, though, what little they had to do, they did well.

The penultimate scene where Jekyll faces Hyde was done quite well, if a little quickly, and the two different characters came through clearly, which is something. As far as meaningful extrapolation goes, though, the theme of duality so prevalent in the novel seemed rather overlooked. Unless I'm just expecting too much. There was always the two opposite extremes in Lucy and Lisa, I suppose...

(Here's me making like I've read the novel. I haven't; I just know it's about duality because, well, most novels of that period are. Duality and the Uncanny. :P It's on my list, though.)

It seemed, to me, to be something of an 'Identikit' musical, in that it felt like they'd stuck it together from different musical convetions. Oh, we've had a big ballad, time for a duet, then a group number, ooh, then some talking for a bit and some instrumental, and we have to get some angst in, and a love song, and a big death scene. That sort of thing. This is a pre-West End tour following some success on Broadway, but I don't think it's going to take the West End by storm unless it has a really good cast and they tidy it up a bit. Some of it seemed a bit amateurish in places, through no fault of the cast, and the narrating at the beginning (as well as the entire rushed ending) verged on cheesy. Perfectly understandable why Broadway liked it, because it's a very 'Broadway' musical but I think it's going to take more than what it's currently got to convince London of anything. Of course, I'm currently biased having sat through The Woman in White a month ago (that write-up's coming soon, honest) and watched a completely amazing cast do amazing things to an amazing score, so this is naturally going to seem slightly below-par. I'm probably being over-harsh in my judgement, having been spoiled by Andrew Lloyd Webber/Cameron Mackintosh musicals for the past few years...

Don't get me wrong; I enjoyed it. There were a few moments of humour and some good singing voices, but it's not going into my list of 'best musicals ever', nor do I think it'll do very well when it does reach the West End. But nevertheless, it was a pleasant night out.

So, that was that. Eni, I'll comment when I'm back from Swindon, so as not to hit teH Number and have to disappear before we can enjoy it and celebrate...

Oh, and I took those shoes back to Shelleys generic shoe sale shop, and couldn't find the other one in the right size, but got two other pairs instead. Also went to H&M and managed to spend just under £100, but all of the stuff's gorgeous. Black 'hobble' skirt with lace insert in it, a green flouncy top because I don't own any flouncy tops, and a stripey velvet/corduroy jacket and trousers in shades of brown, orange and turquoise. I could've bought a whole lot more, too. So much prettiness! But just to prove that retail definitely hates me, the stupid girl on the desk forgot to take the security tag off the trousers, so I have to go back to get it removed. Shows how good their alarm is that I even managed to leave the store...
Tags: annoyances: shopping, gratuitous spending, reviews: theatre

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