After spending 3 hours at The Public, Blanket Fort’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde was just what I needed. Smart, refreshing, delightfully staged and acted this production is a thrilling surprise.
Originally staged as part of Hollywood Fringe 2018, this show based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, has been adapted and written by Burt Grinstead and Anna Stromberg who also perform the piece. Grinstead plays the dual main characters and Stromberg everyone else, including maids, professors, detectives, Sara, Jekyll’s love interest and even small children. Set in London in 1865, the story takes a few twists and turns from the original. Grinstead and Strombeg lace their script farce and dark humor, almost like 39 Steps.
Both actors are truly wonderful and it is amazing that Stromberg, who also directs can do what she does, with such panache. Stromberg’s staging and direction alone, is so sharp, inventive and intelligent. She is truly remarkable. She plays at least 10 character’s who are fully fleshed out and change with rapid pace. One minute she is a crusty professor who speaks with a clear and thick Cockney accent, the next second the sweetly demure Sara who sexually longs for more. The most creative of these transactions comes when she is a a lady of means in conversation with Hyde and uses just a turn of her head to create a child Hyde has just run over and has left for dead.
Grinstead plays the dual role of the title character brilliantly. His Jekyll is insecure, yet intent on finding the cure and the reasons behind good and evil. His Hyde is scary with just a top hat, vocal changes and slight body manipulations. He literally made me scream.
Blanket Fort’s Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is a must see for anyone who truly loves theatre at it’s best. This is a do not miss. Bravo!
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde: Blanket Fort, at the Soho Playhouse, 15 Vandam Street. until May 26th.