By the last day of our 2018 Edinburgh festival I was flagging badly. Fortunately, the first show I selected for that Friday
was 'An Isolated Dog's' take on Don Juan. And what a good call that was, as it gave me enough energy to survive the
following four shows despite feeling increasingly poorly.
So, when I saw they were returning this year they were a "must-see" and took pride of place, directly into the DarkChat
'Spreadsheet of Doom' and I even encouraged my wife to join me. After all who does not want to hear a (discerning)
young French woman, Ginger, publicly say "David, you are very handsome".
This year's classic text is local writer Robert Louis Stevenson's "Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde", a novel I have never got round to
reading. As ever the cast play a variety of roles and include a large amount of audience participation. Somehow they have
a happy knack of picking them wisely (should other shows be so lucky). There is great fun, passion (they are after all very
French), silliness and ensured that the plot moves along nicely. What I didn't expect was such great singing. They only sing
a couple of numbers but they were both stunning and, being greedy, I would have liked a little more. This has been a recurring
theme through a lot of shows this year and is a welcome bonus.
The other big surprise this year was the unwelcome intrusion of the first tremendous thunderstorm of the day. This is not a quiet, subtle production and is not performed by quiet, introverted actors but even they were drowned out by the crescendo of water cascading on the roof of the Piccolo tent. It was so loud they encouraged us to return on another day to hear the bits we had missed. Even if you weren't enjoying the show, though I can't believe that was possible, you will have enjoyed sheltering from the raging storm outside.
I probably enjoyed last year's show more, as I then had no idea what havoc the company would wreak on a classic text. However, to anyone who has not encountered their life affirming weirdness I would recommend a visit, you WILL bounce out of the venue happier and livelier than when you entered.
Jekyll and Hyde is at Assembly George Square Gardens until August 26th (not 19th)
Assembly George Square Gardens (Venue 3)