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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

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Cue lightening, thunder, and comical narrators in the form of the butler and maid. Roanoke College Theater presented their first performance of the dramatization of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Wednesday, November 20th. The play runs until Saturday the 23rd and is free to students.

Opening night for the performance of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was a success. Unfortunately the audience was not completely full, but as the weekend nears, seats will most definitely fill.

Taking place in the City of London in 1880, Noah Smith’s adaptation of the novella came across clear on the stage and entertained all watching. The adaptation for the play follows the well-known story of a Dr. Jekyll (Conor Martin) and his transformation into one gruesome and violent Mr. Hyde (also Martin). The play opens up with the narration of events from the Maid and Butler (Kris Halverson and Cameron Flowers), who also set the stage. Throughout the play the maid and butler interject as a form of conscience for Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, yet also play the parts of their characters.

Following along with the story, we are introduced to the group of men whom Dr. Jekyll has been friends with since boyhood, Lanyon and Utterson; played by Michael Watts and Charles Mosher respectively. Amidst talks and arguments of how one should live life and the use of science,  audiences follow Jekyll through a mid-life crisis of sorts when he falls in love with Utterson’s nephew’s, Enfield’s (Joshua Storo), fiancé, Helen( Rachael Karns-Gall). He finds himself at an “establishment” of some sorts where he meets the ever clever and comical prostitute called Cybel (Kat Binney). More events occur which lead to Dr. Jekyll taking his experimental chemical mixture so he can unleash his evil side, and thus ensues the traumatic events which include being unable to control the switch between the violent Hyde and the law-abiding Jekyll.

With just a few stumbles throughout the performance, and a semi-slow start, the audience became extremely captivated once Dr. Jekyll made his big transition. Martin’s performance as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was spot on and portrayed each part to its fullest. Martin’s performance as Mr. Hyde kept audiences on the edge of their seats and showed Hyde as a sometimes comical yet other times frightening character. Perhaps the next best part of the play was Binney’s performance as Cybel. The audience fell in love with the character of Cybel and she gave the audience something else to pay attention while she was on stage beside the main characters Jekyll and Hyde.

On top of the great acting, the costuming and lighting brought the stage to life, along with the props, beautifully set backdrop, and ominous music. Roanoke College Theater will give their last performance of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on Saturday, November 23rd, in Olin at 7:30p.m.