Circa Two, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington

19/03/2016 - 16/04/2016

Circa Two, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington

20/01/2017 - 11/02/2017

Repertory House, 167 Esk Street, Invercargill

17/05/2018 - 18/05/2018

Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland

04/07/2017 - 15/07/2017

Allen Hall Theatre, University of Otago, Dunedin

10/07/2018 - 11/07/2018

SOUTHLAND FestivaL of the Arts 2018

Production Details

A reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Directed by Leo Gene Peters

Devised and presented by A Slightly Isolated Dog


Award-winning production company A Slightly Isolated Dog are back with the highly anticipated follow up to last year’s smash hit Don Juan, with an innovative reimagining of Stevenson’s classic tale, Jekyll & Hyde.

Directed by Leo Gene Peters, Jekyll and Hyde gives audiences an immersive experience, without becoming the kind of participatory theatre that makes us cringe.

“We’re creating a place where we can come and play together. Where we can celebrate each other and our darkness and our attempts to live as boldly as possible,” says Peters.

The show follows five ‘French clowns’ as they seduce the audience with wine, flirt their way through the general arc of the narrative and skillfully weave the performance together. The audience is crucial in telling the story, there are no expectations, no wrong answers and participation is celebrated. Audience members can simply watch if they want – but most choose to play in some easy and enjoyable way.

Set to follow in the footsteps of the “highly sophisticated” and “incredibly entertaining”Don Juan, which was nominated for Wellington Theatre Award’s Most Original Production 2015, this is one party not to miss.

While this reinterpretation doesn’t promise to religiously follow the original Jekyll & Hyde text, it does promise to provide an excellent night out, celebrating our darker side: our rage, boldness and desire.

Comedy. Thrills. Chaos. Delight.

The most delightfully evil man alive, Mr Hyde. A man so evil he punches the cleaning lady, drop-kicks a precious kererū and yells ‘shark’ at the beach.

Gather up your friends, lovers, and distant cousins, and prepare to unleash your inner monster!

“So…funny I almost died laughing” – Metro Magazine
“Joyful, positive, sexy, hilarious and clever. I could stay for hours.” – Pantograph Punch

STARRING: Andrew Paterson, Susie Berry, Jonathan Price, Jack Buchanan and Hayley Sproull.

Jekyll & Hyde
Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki Street, Wellington
19 March to 16 April 2016 (preview 18 March)
Tuesday – Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 4.30pm
Tickets: $25 – 35
from or by calling 04 801 7992

Circa Two
Preview 19 Jan 2017
20 Jan – 2 Feb 2017 and
additional shows 8 and 11 Feb 2-17
Tues – Sat 7.30pm
Matinee Sun 22 Jan, 4.30pm
$20 – $35
Book Now!

Please Note: There is no allocated seating for this show.
75 min including interval
Recommend age: 15+, contains coarse language and sexual innuendo

Comedy. Thrills. Chaos. Delight. 

“…a high-octane, overly-charged show that defies many conventions of theatre” – Dominion Post.

Jekyll and Hyde plays:
Dates: 4 – 15 July, 8pm
Venue: Basement Theatre, Lower Greys Avenue, Auckland
Bookings: basementtheatre // 09 309 7433
Restrictions: 15+

Southland Arts Festival 2018
Repertory House, Invercargill
Thu 17 May, Fri 18 May, 7:30pm
Schools’ show: Fri 18 May 11:20am
Book: TicketDirect $35/30/20 (Bookings essential)

Allen Hall Theatre
Tuesday 10 & Wednesday 11 July 2018

Susie Berry
Jack Buchanan
Andrew Paterson
Jonathan Price
Hayley Sproull 

Southland Arts Festival 2018:
Comfrey Sanders
Susie Berry
Aaron Cortesi
Leo Gene Peters
Jonathan Price

Joshua Wood (Sound)

Directed by Leo Gene Peters
Spatial & Prop Design by Debbie Fish
Sound Design by Blair Godby
Costume Design by Meg Rollandi

Stage Manager Ryan Knighton
Technical Operator Blair Godby
Publicity Cianna Canning, GoldFish Creative
Graphic Design William Duignan

House Manager Suzanne Blackburn 
Box Office Manager Linda Wilson 

Theatre ,

1hr 20mins (including interval)

Fun and pacy with underlying threads of political and social issue commentary

Review by Hannah Molloy 11th Jul 2018

A balmy winter evening performance of A Slightly Isolated Dog’s Jekyll & Hyde is a delicious dalliance in Gallic charm, effervescent wit and classical literature told beguilingly and with little regard for the original author’s own style.

The company – Andrew Paterson, Jack Buchanan, Comfrey Sanders, Susie Berry and Jonathan Price – greets the audience as we enter, directing us to seats. My guest and I resist front row seats but are shot such a darkling glance we do precisely as we are told. Each audience member is draped in a scarf or a hat and made to feel welcomed and comfortable, invited into the inner circle. The audience is diverse and intrigued by the energy and promise the cast shower about themselves like glitter.

The storyline is fun and pacy; sort of a summary version of the original but the cast are sharp as tacks and maintain perfect control at all times, even while wiping sweat from their overheated brows and teetering on stilettos I wouldn’t be brave enough to sit in, let alone race up and down stairs in.

The actors slip effortlessly from character to character, retaining their own personalities and foibles while drawing the audience into the narrative, both in imagination and as an intrinsic and essential part of the storytelling process. They are as quick as a flash to respond to quips from the audience and manage to instil an almost Pavlovian response to their stage directions very quickly. The audience is delighted to be so fully part of the fun – they are here expecting a good time and they mean to have it to the fullest extent.

There are underlying threads of political and social issue commentary flung into the mix, sometimes sharp enough to cut and sometimes smooth and almost unnoticeable. The audience laps it up and leans in for more. Dunedin tends to be a conservative, perhaps stand-offish audience, but the wiles of the five performers seduce people into vying for their attention, not quite leaping from their seats to play a part but almost. 

I find myself breathless and on the verge of hysteria – the feeling you get when you catch your friend’s eye at a formal dinner and lose yourself and your dignity in a fit of the uncontrollable giggles. It’s the perfect mood for a ba(r)lmy winter evening in Dunedin.


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A slick, steely production moving mercilessly under the guise of madcap antics

Review by Sarah McCarthy 18th May 2018

I arrive at Jekyll and Hyde frazzled. I’ve over-committed and, at the tail end of the Southland Arts Festival, I’m suffering from show fatigue. Chit-chatting in the foyer, I run through what I know of the show. Antics! Probable Audience Participation! French!

I want to go home.

The doors to the theatre open and, as we prepare to file in, we are accosted by a pack of five sexy, eyeliner-smeared French-accented love bombers. “Oh my god I loooove zis leepsteeeck” a beautiful woman coos to my friend. I wander in, dodging larger-than-life performers murmuring to dazzled audience members, only to be directed firmly towards the stage to sit along the back of it, in full view of the rest of the audience.  

I want to go home.

Those of us onstage grin nervously at those seated in the audience. I’m given a scarf. Someone else is wearing a bowler hat. The young man beside me is wearing a fur stole. We are reassured by one of the pack.

And then the show begins.

The energy and pure love that explodes out of this troupe of crazy, sexy, glorious, shameless masters of this domain – Comfrey Sanders, Susie Berry, Aaron Cortesi, Leo Gene Peters and Jonathan Price – blows out the cobwebs.

I don’t want to go home. I want to stay here forever.

Almost instantly, the entire audience is caught up in their sexy web of sexy.  (Did I mention sexy? Everyone is sexy. I am sexy! I have toothpaste on my jersey and I am sexy!)  

It’s funny, it’s silly, it’s clever and witty.

When I hear the words “madcap” and “romp” I generally roll my eyes so hard that I worry that I’ve sprained something in my face. But these sexy sex beasts are madcap, and are romping, and I love it. We all love it. People are leaning forward in their seats, people are straining toward the stage.

When the players lope up the stairs into the audience, everyone leans towards them, not away. Everyone wants to be part of the fun. In minutes, this team has somehow created an atmosphere of love and safety – sexy love and sexy safety, obviously. I’ve never seen anything like it. 

The story is simple and fun: the tale of Dr Jekyll drinks a potion in order to live out his darkest desires, as and Mr Hyde, under cover of the night.  But the story is secondary to the fun we’re having, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There is a tautness behind the assumed laissez-faire. Make no mistake; we’re in the hands of extremely experienced, professional actors who have intimate knowledge of what is going on all over the theatre at every moment. Home-spun props, old scarves and crazy antics are the real mask in this production – as Jekyll is to Hyde.

Don’t be fooled, this is a slick, steely production moving mercilessly under the guise of madcap antics. And this is high-risk theatre; you want a safe structure underneath it all. Sexy structure, of course.

This is unmissable, event theatre at its very, very best. If you get a chance to see this remarkable show, please do – if only for your self-esteem.  


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Lightness Within

Review by Rachael Longshaw-Park 10th Jul 2017

After the roaring success of Don Juan in 2016, theatre company Slightly Isolated Dog present the twisted story of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The cast give audiences no time to ease into the fun ahead, instead they’re already waiting outside the theatre ready to introduce themselves and lavish compliments upon everyone they see. Various frivolous hats and accessories are given out to selected people as they take their seats. The atmosphere is partylike and playful, a far cry from what you would expect from a Victorian classic. In fact, once the company launches into the show’s introduction it’s easy to forget why you’re there, having been swept up in the festivities.

This is no traditional telling of Jekyll and Hyde, but instead, a fast paced, laugh-a-minute, interactive storytelling that serves up comedy and frivolity on a platter. [More


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A ridiculously fun night, although “There is darkness within”

Review by Kathleen Mantel 05th Jul 2017

Jekyll and Hyde is an absolute tour de force of modern theatre practice.  There is nothing staid or pretentiously theatrically distant about this in-your-face, ridiculously hilarious black comedy.  A fantastic night out.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the age-old story by Robert Louis Stevenson about a man who is by day a well-respected doctor, but at night turns into his alter ego Mr Hyde.  Mr Hyde is very bad.  “He is so bad he gave an old widow-woman an orgasm… and then he took it away.” In fact, he is something of a psychopath. 

It’s a simple story, and as the performance begins I wonder if the production is going to keep to the story at all.  And then I realise: the story has begun and we are in it, and the darkness of Mr Hyde has already surrounded us.

The production hails from Wellington-based A Slightly Isolated Dog.  Among other things, this talented group are known for taking traditional stories and putting their own spin on them.  Last year it was Don Juan, which received rave reviews, the Excellence Award and the People’s Choice Ensemble Award at the 2016 Auckland Theatre Awards.  

For reasons that are not clear, the performers are all part of an over-the-top French theatre troupe.  On arrival, we are greeted like good friends who have arrived at a fabulous party, and we are promptly adorned with headdresses that will make the experience more fabulous.  The audience sits on both sides of the space so each side watches the actors and the other half of the audience.  The production is an extremely organic mix of story, audience participation and improvisation.  The audience becomes part of the show which seems to be a theme in A Slightly Isolated Dog’s shows.  There are many opportunities to dance, shout, shoot, and one lucky audience member embodies the aforementioned widow.

The main character is performed by all five of the actors at different times throughout the show, and sometimes by random audience members.  Each actor brings something different to the role which works well to capture the complex darkness of a complicated character like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Samuel Austin is a very cute Hyde, Hayley Sproull’s despair at the death of an audience member is touching, and Susie Berry excels at being guttural and grounded and unflinchingly French.  

Andrew Paterson is a stand out; in impossibly high black stilettos, red lipstick and a beard he is a very unsettling Mr Hyde on a misty night.  Jonathan Price struggles throughout the show as a tortured Dr Jekyll, trying to get over losing his long-term girlfriend (in the audience).  At one point, thinking he needs to meet new people, he … suffice to say a Facebook friend of an audience member will receive quite a surprise. There are many moments of chaos that somehow amazingly organically blend into the show. 

The play is a beast to define: a mix of absurd, slapstick, wild and dirty songs, improvised audience participation, Kelly Tarlton penguins, a fog that literally covers the audience and the darkness.  Murder.  And some kind of green alcoholic shots during half time. 

Despite all the fun and chaos, this is one sophistically put together piece of theatre.   

Chapman Tripp Theatre Award winning Director Leo Gene Peters has done an amazing job to make it so.  The show throws you from a great height into the moment, not giving you pause to sit back comfortably to be passively entertained, but keeping you engaged until the end.  The end unfortunately is something of a letdown.  I’m not sure why.  It feels a bit like getting cut off at the bar when you don’t want the night to be over.

Jekyll and Hyde is a ridiculously fun night.  My advice is to bring friends, enjoy a few glasses of wine beforehand and enjoy the ride.   No matter how dark you feel before you come, that darkness will disappear during this blackest, and sexiest of comedies.  

I leave the theatre with a sore jaw from laughing so much.


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Skilfully draws out joyful and wicked feelings

Review by Erina Daniels 24th Jan 2017

A Slightly Isolated Dog (henceforth referred to as ASID) has produced many reputable and entertaining shows.  Their 2015 show Don Juan played many festivals and theatres on NZ throughout 2016.  And now this prolific company is bringing back Jekyll & Hyde, which opened at Circa Two last March. 

The legend of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has had many tellings over the years.  Dr Jekyll, a respected gentleman and philanthropist of Victorian era London, likes also to practice with unconventional medicine.  He administers a potion unto himself that transforms and transmutes his physical body and rational action, to operate and to be known as a different fellow in the world: Mr Hyde.  In the body of Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll permits himself to act on his own darkest desires, without fear of his good name being slandered. 

ASID’s Jekyll & Hyde is based on, but does not reproduce the exact narrative of, Mr Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic text (The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde).  This production, directed by the assured Mr Leo Gene Peters, specifically focuses on the repression of ‘the darkness within’, and invites us to delight in indulging immoralities.

With each of their shows, ASID intends “to create a dialogue with the public … and from that dialogue the performance will be built.”  It should come as no surprise then, when the audience of Jekyll and Hyde are invited to be active participants in the telling of this fictional tale.

From the moment the cast of Jekyll & Hyde meet us, they work to build a ‘dialogue bridge’ (if you like) to the audience.  They – Samuel Austin, Susie Berry, Andrew Paterson, Jonathan Price and Comfrey Sanders – take up their space amongst ours, seeming unselfconscious in their sensuality.  Their clothes, makeup, jewellery and their postures, are bold.  There’s a twinkle in the eye of every player here, sometimes direct winks.  

I accept their outrageous faux accents, and play along.  They are confident and fun to be around, endeavouring always to be very charming and very witty, drawing us out to play, to enjoy our own sass. The actors skilfully incorporate our responses into their banter, weaving us into their story-tell. 

This dialogue banter bounces between them, is shared out amongst them and leads us audience through their gruesome tale of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  Sometimes it is only with me that a character comments – and I feel very special, and increasingly complicit.  If I don’t hear every sentence or am not privy to other shared moments, I don’t mind as I am enjoying being a part of this naughty-good feeling that is being built.  Naughty-good – because although my mischief-feeling levels have been raised, I’m feeling safe that I won’t actually do anything naughty.

The design of the show (credited to Meg Rollandi, Debbie Fish, Blair Godby and Leo Gene Peters) supports this good humour. The combination of lighting, sound, props and set are often used to give context for and to punctuate the gags of the cast – sometimes becoming the gag itself.  Simple props hand us an opportunity to create a landmark, or to become a character.  Clever items of set transport us through foggy alleyways or to the thin barrier of door that separates us from Mr Hyde. 

The action of the play is happening all around us, and the next teller of the story could appear at our shoulder at any moment.  The staging and traverse seating of the theatre space ensure the moods and reactions of the audience easily reflect back upon itself.  We were all having a good laugh and enjoying watching each other be silly.

There are three points when I notice myself dropping away from this mischief humour.  There is a time when the players are seemingly lost in their own character dialogues – at times with the audience, but not particularly to anybody – for a long time. I share an ‘I don’t know what’s going on either’ face with the audience-man next door to me.  Perhaps it is a calculated risk by the J&H crew – being chaotic, to indicate the chaos in the mind of Dr Jekyll …? However, I easily add my laughter back into the soundscape as the next quip is made.  

Another time is whenever a song is sung. Maybe my hearing is going, or I’m not in the perfect position in relation to the speakers (I am seated right beside the sound desk), or maybe I’m supposed to already know the words to the songs – but I just can’t make out the lyrics. I don’t know what is so meaningful although the dangerous lighting and grim, staunchly-determined delivery of each song seems to contain a threat, or maybe a promise…  But, then as before, I am in with a grin as soon as the next opportunity to chuckle is presented. 

The third instance of my mischief deflating is when I become a little bit horrified at myself for laughing with, egging on, and enjoying so much the re-counting and re-enactment (albeit play-acting) of mindless wilful violence, destruction and slaughter.  This is part and parcel of the story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  The deflation lasts an instant – I am soon back up on that humour horse.

What is lasting with me still is my appreciation of ASID; that together they conceive to draw out my own joyful and wicked feelings to sit alongside each other for me to observe; that my spirit is still buoyed from the absurdity built up over the course of the evening’s show, and the laughter shared this night.  


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Flair, fun and panache with a purpose

Review by John Smythe 20th Mar 2016

Just as A Slightly Isolated Dog’s Don Juan did last year, Jekyll & Hyde invites us to play with their play. The five actors affect sexy French accents, masquerading as a “very famous French theatre company”. And they share the title role(s), as and when key elements of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde manage to get a look in amid their deceptively loose playing about.

The French accents made good sense when playing with Molière’s play but it’s a bit puzzling when the source is a late 19th century novella set in London written by a Scotsman. In both cases, however, they set the action in contemporary Wellington to make it all more relevant. I suppose the idea is this “very famous French theatre company” – created by director Leo Gene Peters (who hails from the USA) with young Wellington actors – will be plundering classics that expose our foibles on an annual basis.

And what a talented ensemble they are! Susie Berry, Andrew Paterson and Jonathan Price, from last year’s troupe, are joined by Jack Buchanan and Hayley Sproull. If you listen carefully you may pick up that their actor-tags are Lili, Julie, Phillipe, Bastièn and Claudine respectively. They roam the foyer before the show, befriending the punters with seductively hyperbolic compliments (or that’s what happened to us, anyway, making me think we were back in Don Juan territory).

Just as we all know what ‘being a Don Juan’ means, the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ dichotomy has entered the language as concept without its origins having to be known in detail. It speaks to the capacity for good and evil within us all; the public versus private self; the inner demons we deny at our peril and everyone else’s. It also references self-esteem issues and everyday hypocrisy.  

That Dr Jekyll, signified with a neat blond wig, is a good man is evidenced with contemporary examples (e.g. “Shops at Trade Aid”). Yet “he has a darkness within,” we are constantly reminded, “but pushes it down; he pushes it down.”

The examples of what annoys him are likewise relatable to a 21st century audience; indeed one or two are asked to share their pet peeves (and it’s totally OK to say “no” if you don’t want to participate). Claudine’s melt-down phone conversation with a WINZ person is the most memorable for me.

Then there are the temptations he succumbs to that engender self-loathing in the aftermath. It all leads to his creating the potion that gives his darkest urges human form: Mr Hyde, designated with an unruly black wig and a deeply resonant voice thanks to an app on sound designer/operator Blair Godby’s mixing desk.  

The live sound effects add enormously to the flair and fun, as do Meg Rollandi’s costume designs, and the spatial and prop designs by Debbie Fish. A range of simple devices are used to thing like the boiling of water, being enveloped in fog, breaking through a door … Indeed we are all handed frames to peer through, casting us in the role of voyeurs. Or neighbourhood watchers?

So while it is tempting to suggest A Slightly Isolated Dog is reversing the purpose of theatre by using the story to present theatre, rather than theatre to present the story, that would be unfair. They have created an ‘immersive experience’ that relocates a classical tale in contemporary life so we can more easily identify the ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ in ourselves and maybe even consider our social responsibilities when it comes to witnessing untoward events in our neighbourhoods.  

Either way, Berry, Buchanan, Paterson, Price and Sproull work splendidly as an ensemble – with Godby – to ensure 80-odd minutes of stimulating theatre presented with refreshing panache. Whether it is more effective than other genres in reflecting ourselves and our world, and even prompting us to take personal responsibility for “the darkness inside of [us]”, is a matter of private opinion and personal taste.

One thing disappoints, however. On seeing Hayley Sproull and Jack Buchanan on the bill, I felt sure we’d be treated to more of the cleverly crafted, witty, original songs both are renowned for. Instead Jekyll & Hyde draws from the international catalogue – with songs from Muse, Kanye West, Queens of the Stoneage, The Decemberists and System of a Down – which are nevertheless splendidly rendered.

If you missed Don Juan last year, make sure you see Jekyll & Hyde. If you saw Don Juan and liked it, treat yourself to this sequel.


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