REVIEW: Jekyll and Hyde The Musical

Andrew Tuton was a triumph in the double role of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. (s)
Andrew Tuton was a triumph in the double role of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. (s)

Talk about setting the stage on fire - this week’s showing of Jekyll and Hyde at the Burnley Mechanics is a blaze of talent and emotion.

Burnley Light Opera Society is lighting up the am-dram scene with a triumphant show.

Since its formation, the society has amassed a well-deserved reputation for producing shows to rival the professionals.

And this year’s offering, with Andrew Tuton in the leading role of Jekyll and Hyde, is no different, proving exactly why the group fills out every seat and finishes to wild applause and standing ovations.

It’s the tale, based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic thriller, of the brilliant Dr Jekyll, who attempts to eradicate “evil” in the human personality.

But an experiment turns horribly awry when he creates within himself a villainous alter-ego, Mr Hyde, who wreaks havoc on London.

So, let’s start with the vocals: all clear, powerful and characterful; and the harmonies of the chorus couldn’t have been tighter.

Special mention must go to the leading female vocals of Jenny Gill as Dr Jekyll’s fiance, Emma - her sweet vocals soared effortlessly.

Likewise, Zoe Tompkins wowed with strong vocals full of character as Lucy.

That’s not to forget the undeniable talents of the supporting cast: Geoff Baron; Robin Knipe; Steven Mercer; Mick Dawson; Danny Morville; Tony Lewis; Peter Rigney; Joanne Gill; John Huyton; Martin Chadwick; Liz Wood; and Alan Whittaker.

Everything about this show was the essence of elegance and sophistication. And while there was the wow-factor of its operatic proportions, it was also its subtleties of character - emphasised by the stunning simplicity of the set - which nodded to the professionals. Kudos to the production team and the orchestra.

And then there was leading man, Andrew Tuton, who forms the lasting impression with his dazzling talent.

For his unforgettable performance was simply a triumph. He has the kind of range and stage presence which will no doubt take him up and down the country to star in top professional shows.

But no words could say it any clearer than the number of audience members on their feet and the sound of applause reverberating around the room following yesterday's performance.

The company might have taken us on a journey to the dark side but the talent on offer could not have shined any brighter.

Performances continue nightly at 7-30pm until Saturday.

To book visit www.burnleymechanics.co.uk or call 01282 664400.