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Latitude 2011

Jekyll and Hyde

Spymonkey and Peplokys

Genre: Comedy, Drama


Theatre Tent, Latitude 


Low Down

a collaboration between Spymonkey and Peepolykus made especially for Latitude Festival. Chaotic, and hilarious, a unique and truly special night out at the theatre. 


This was the most chaotic, ridiculous and silly show that I have seen in a long while, and it is also one of the funniest. I really don’t think I have laughed this hard and unashamedly in the theatre for a long time.


Having met someone who knows the company on the way into the theatre tent, who warned that whilst funny, the show was rough around the edges  as the company had only been rehearsing for seven days, I was apprehensive that I was wasting my time and would be stuck on the world’s most uncomfortable bench in the middle of a row, unable to leave. However, I think we struck that most magical of nights at the theatre, when a new, unpolished show is made even more funny by the mishaps, and a forgiving audience allows the actors to play.


I believe that the show was made especially for Latitude, as a collaboration between Spymonkey and Peepolykus. The companies took the story of Jekyll and Hyde and set it in the midst of the London Blitz. A huge amount of very well timed character comedy followed, with silly BBC voices, absurd wigs, and a very unimportant plot. The actors were great, frequently forgetting their lines, but carrying on with panache, and making it all the more funny. Trays of glasses collapsed by accident, people were pushed off their chairs and fell over into puddles of water, and despite thinking I was not a fan of slapstick humour, I laughed until my sides ached.


This show was performed 3 times at Latitude, and I would be curious to know how it was received on its other showings. Certainly the plot, set and characterisation couldn’t carry the show through on their own, and as I said I think a forgiving audience, a late evening slot and good fortune (in terms of the mistakes which were happily made) conspired to make this particular night of this show a triumph.


It is hard to say much more about this show, as it was insubstantial hilarious fluff, and as with most festival shows, it is unfair to critique the set and theatre aesthetics as they are so woefully inadequate, what with sound bleed from dancing robots and flapping canvas. However the company dealt with these pitfalls fantastically well and I even managed to forget the numbness of my bum!



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