Friday, 27 May 2016

JEKYLL & HYDE The Drew McOnie Company | Old Vic Theatre (Dance) June Edition

MAY 2016
Drew McOnie Company

The Old Vic was where the great ballet and dance companies such as The Royal Ballet and Sadlers Wells  started back in the first half of the 20th century. It was fitting therefore that the most exciting British choreographer of the 21st century is now an associate artist of this lovely theatre.  With an Olivier Award for his choreography on the smash hit musical In the Heights already achieved this year, it was not surprising that the theatre was packed to the rafters for this performance in order to experience this new work.

I like watching dance and ballet from up high so that I can see the shapes and the full stage.  The Old Vic is perfect for this and it makes me wonder why it has been so long since they had a major dance production.  It is something that really suits the space.

The stage set was excellent, and cleverly designed on wheels allowing scenes to ebb and flow with ease.  It was a very complex stage set with loads of detail and it made the show look spectacular. The lighting was excellent as well and showed the transformations in strobing light and for each character created its own colour palette.

The music was very easy on the ear. It was very melodic and drew the distinction between Jekyll and Hyde very clearly.  Comic undertones were found in the 50s big band swing style for Jekyll and dark brooding rock blues riffs in the character of Hyde.  The score is a worth exploring on Amazon and I Tunes for its self. It is excellent.

What I love about Drew McOnie's choreography is that it is so exciting, it is so fluid, and it communicates emotional states so well.  It really effects audiences.  In Jekyll and Hyde he delivers the best work of his short career.  With large ensemble numbers which create a swirl of movement on the stage to intimate duets full of passion, comedic routines and in the very dark second act he portrays the descent into violence by Hyde with incredible skill.  It is a masterpiece in my opinion.

All the dancers were excellent without exception and you could see their love for the piece shine through the whole work. This company is really talented and deserves to be seen by many more than this week's run will allow.

At the interval I was standing near some of the front of house staff. I overheard them say that they it was a real shame the run was only a week because it was bringing in a new audience and was so exciting.  I totally agree with them.  If the theatre has any room in its schedule it should bring this show back at the first opportunity and give it a longer run.

An exceptional show by an exciting choreographer and company in a beautiful theatre which was perfect for dance.  This was a fantastic night and I urge you to see this show if it ever returns to this theatre or any other.

You can download or sample the music HERE

You can watch some of the show and a short interview with Drew McOnie on the BBC HERE

You can still watch Drew's Award winning choreography at IN THE HEIGHTS until October 30th Discount Tickets from £17.50 HERE

The Old Vic Theatre has a fantastic new season - the best since the 1990s with Groundhog Day coming soon.  It is well worth a visit with new Artistic Director choosing exciting plays - new musicals and new dance shows - which are putting the theatre back on the map Find out by visiting their site HERE  and if you are reading this the day it is published you might get a ticket HERE....

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