Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Tonight I saw a production of the drama “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. Having recently read the book, I was interested in seeing how the play would compare. Not surprisingly, the plot varied greatly from that of the book, going so far as to introduce new main characters, including a love interest for the detestable Hyde (the book does not have a single female main character). Several of the scenes are reinvented to, I suppose, make them more interesting, tense, and exciting. But in my opinion, most of things in the play that were redone were redone to their detriment, and did not have the same impact as the book. The relationship between Hyde and his love interest, Elizabeth, seemed strange, almost nonsensical. Elizabeth, an attractive young lady, falls madly in love with the deranged, violent Hyde, despite the fact that at their first meeting he threatens to kill her. The “girls like bad boys” argument seems to fall flat; the only reason a woman would fall in love with a man, knowing he was dangerous, violent, and possibly murderous, would be that she too is crazy. Elizabeth is not crazy, so her obsession with the perverted and vicious Hyde seems illogical. After watching the play, though I did enjoy it, I could not help but thinking that some written stories should not be translated into different mediums. Whoever wrote the script to the play apparently deemed the original story too bland for production on the stage, and perhaps he was right, but his solution, to ‘enhance it’, obscures the simple elegance of the original story and makes for a stilted and confusing stage production.

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