Birkenhead Operatic Society Trust are one of the area’s most outstanding local arts companies. Amateurs and professional actors and actresses merge together seamlessly. (NOTE from BOST: No one on stage in this production is a professional actor/actress)
They love their work and it shows. One part of their long term ambitious aim and legacy is is they are not afraid to take risks.
It is a huge company comprising very enthusiastic, versatile and dedicated performers.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde about a man possessed by the need to find a cure for personality disorders is not the easiest piece of work to bring to life.
But that doesn’t stop BOST.
Director Elsie Kelly and musical director Tricia Gaskell – along with choreographer Charlotte Elverstone – have tackled a tough piece of drama in two very busy acts.
It is a split storyline: love and hate.
Passion and violence.
The sinister elements have to sit happily with the sentimentality.
Based on Stevenson’s classic and set to the score by Frank Wldhorn with book and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, Jekyll and Hyde has long been a mainstay of theatres both in the UK and Broadway.
So it comes with theatrical baggage.
BOST employ their excellent chorus to maximum effect and Chris Simmons as both Dr Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde was dominating from opening scenes’ to his tragic finale (double applause here).
Tony Prince was first class as his concerned pal John Utterson.
He has the right balance of love for his dear Harley Street friend -aware that dark forces were on hand.
Act one has 17 musical numbers, with the powerful This is the Moment being the highlight.
Act two with 11 songs see Linzi Stefanov shine as gutsy Lucy on her thunder ballad A New Life.
Other highlights in this two-and-a-half hour production include a wonderful dance sequence in the Red Rat London pub.
It fizzed with Burlesque-styled energy.
Jekyll and Hyde – The Musical is a bold venture to undertake.
BOST continue to enhance their reputation as one of Wirral’s most innovative and accomplished companies.
And an encore round of applause for the costume team who never fail to astonish me and audiences with their eye for period detail.
Passionate performance: 4 Stars.