In December of 2011, I started working back in Indianapolis. Having grown up and gone to school in the area, I had attended the Indiana Reparatory Theater (IRT) and was familiar with it’s quality productions though it has been many years since I last saw a production there. I’ve spent the better part of this year rediscovering old and new favorites in Indianapolis and I’m now happy to say that I’ve added the IRT to the list of familiar places I’ve reacquainted myself with.
On Sunday I saw a performance of DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE. As both a fan of the source material by Robert Lewis Stevenson and several of the film adaptations, found myselt absolutely surprised and delighted by the story and it’s interpretation by the IRT.
From the dark (literally and thematically) staging and costuming, blocking and choreography of the actors I was smitten with the production. As a fan of several of the elements that seemed to influence the production design and costuming – steampunk, goth and the general victorian design aesthetic, I feel that the IRT has created something both classical and entirely topical and fresh that can easily entertain and spirit away a broader non theater going audience. I wish I had seen this sooner to have been able to spread the word.
I commend the entire cast, who did a wonderful job juggling multiple roles and both seamless and nearly instantaneously transformations. The interpretation and staging of Hyde was original and delightful surprise. The themes of morality, good and evil, exploitation and the pursuit of battling one’s personal demons was as entertaining as it was thought provoking.
In addition to not having seen this earlier my only other regret is not having been able to stay and listen to the actors discussion afterwards. I recommend this to not only the general theater lover, but to the fans of steampunk, gothic horror and those who are discovering/rediscovering the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through the BBC’s new Sherlock series.
Well done, one and all.