Thoughts on Great Expectations (stage)

I finally know what Great Expectations is about.

As a child, I’d tried to read this classic by Charles Dickens but I didn’t make it beyond the first chapters and was daunted to ever try again so I jumped at the chance to watch people playing it out before me. This was my first play in the UK and I was pretty excited. The review will really be lumping production, book and experience since it’ll be the first proper time I come into contact with Great Expectations, so it’ll be completely subjective.

Warning: This review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

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Musical of the Moment: Jekyll and Hyde

I am in love and this is the object of my affection~~~~~~~~~~~

Jekyll and Hyde is an old story, one of the prescribed readings this semester but I read it last semester to do a comparison with Frankenstein. Lately, I Youtubed J&H because the lecturer was showing us the various transformations of Jekyll to Hyde and they were all the same: choking, gasping, the final transformation into this ape-looking grinning person with the big crooked teeth. And I was like “I’m sure there has to be a version where Hyde doesn’t look that bad.” I didn’t expect to find this version because while there were versions where Caliban was the hot one in plays like Tempest, the idea of appearance and inner character was the theme in J&H.

What Youtube threw up was even better than discovering a hot Hyde. I discovered J&H the musical ❤ ❤ ❤

I had to skim through it because I was supposed to be writing an essay on it and then I got…sidetracked… and stuff… but I liked what I skimmed. And that says a lot. Because I read that by a certain age, people’s musical influences kind of just cement and they aren’t as open to new influences anymore. But I was so into this, the music, it’s amazing. To find something new that I like so strongly. Perhaps it was because the music sounded very much like the music I already liked, typical Les Mis, Phantom stuff, but still.

Well, I have to admit that I’m a softie for anything with the large Victorian dresses and sets and speech. They adapted the story for the stage though, and I completely understand. You couldn’t possibly do a direct word-for-word from book to stage. Too much inner psyche. Can you imagine the soliloquies Jekyll would have had to do?

So while the focus of the story was still on appearances and characters, reputations and facades, there was a new element in the story: the love element. Don’t call me sappy just yet. At first, I was skeptical. I thought that love elements would weaken this story. After all, the fact that there was no prominent woman figure in the book was one of those glaring factors that might fuel literary essays. But it worked out very well, I think. For one thing, some of my favourite songs came from the love duets and the ballads. Having the love interests added this emotional, sentimental element into the story and songs that couldn’t otherwise have been achieved. It made Jekyll seem like he had a social life, that he cared for people besides himself.

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