The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde

Live Review by Amy Taylor | 11 May 2015

Adapting one of Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous works was never going to be an easy task, but Morna Pearson’s reimagining of his classic story The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde works and introduces a feminist angle in Caitlin Skinner’s colourful production.

Now set in Victorian Edinburgh, the New Town is the scene for a feminist awakening of sorts, when Miriam, (Emma McCaffrey) the fiercely intelligent daughter of Dr Jekyll, frustrated by society’s expectations of a woman of her age, creates a bold alter ego who brings chaos and unexpected freedom.

The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde expertly explores the universal female experience through Victorian society, adding more than a few dashes of science fiction, horror and ultimately, misogyny to the mix. Helped along by Greg Sinclair’s haunting melodies and Becky Minto’s beautiful set, the play is a veritable treat for the senses which ponders the question, just who is the real villain of the story?

While Hyde is undoubtedly mischievous, her malevolent nature pales in comparison to the world that Miriam inhabits. A time long gone, it seems at points to mirror our own, especially in regards to attitudes towards women. And in a world where women still get married off and robbed of education, The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde suddenly seems not so weird after all. An utter theatrical delight, which left this reviewer hungry for more.

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, run ended