Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Thrills at North Coast Repertory Theatre

With a family trip to London abruptly taken off calendar, it was especially delightful to attend the North Coast Repertory Theatre’s production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Set in the middle of Victorian era England with sterling actors, this clever production was a great two hour time machine.

The mystery of the split personality as a constant struggle of good and bad is woven throughout the play. That dynamic is cleverly portrayed in the costumes, about which I will reveal no more here. Also, clever is the versatile stage design, which features very few right angles, adding to the disconcerting undercurrent of the play’s theme. Credit the set design of stalwart Marty Burnett yet again.

L-R: Bruce Jacobs, Ciarra Stroud, Bruce Turk, Conner Marx, Katie MacNichol and Christopher M. Williams

The range of British accents are admirably delivered, with half the six person cast handling multiple roles. Much credit to Bruce Turk in the role of Dr. Henry Jekyll. There is an appealing dollop of Alan Rickman in Turk’s portrayal of the tortured doctor. Turk gives a commanding performance conveying the terror he is slowly discovering. Also noteworthy are Jacob Bruce, Katie MacNichol, Conner Marx, Ciarra Stroud and Christopher M. Williams. Shana Wride directs the action with a steady hand, via an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novella adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher. Kudos also to the compelling sound design by Melanie Chen Cole.

Unfortunately, there was no pub nearby where I would’ve liked extending the evening, with a pint of Boddingtons and a spot of fish and chips. Otherwise, the evening was brilliant.

Photos by Aaron Rumley

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.