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IT’S been reinvented as a ballet, a musical and more than one film – but until last week I don’t recall The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as a straight play.

IT’S been reinvented as a ballet, a musical and more than one film – but until last week I don’t recall The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as a straight play.

The ever-innovative Hull Truck company brought it to Chesterfield’s Pomegranate for one night, in an adaptation by Nick Lane, whose work keeps popping up around the region.

Lane adds some layers to Robert Louis Stevenson’s rather sparse story. His Jekyll (James Weaver) is a driven man of science, passionate about his research into the secrets of the brain. It’s desperation that makes him experiment on himself; he’s out of other options.

Lane gives him a lover who just happens to be his best friend’s wife. It’s Eleanor, played by Joanna Miller, who urges him to bend rules and break boundaries.

Weaver is Hyde as well, of course: a strong and brutal version of his alter ego’s ailing body. He plays some smaller roles as well, as does Miller, and John Gully, who is mainly the best friend and also Jekyll’s lawyer.

These three able players and Nick Lane’s imaginative script transform Stevenson’s cautionary horror story into an intriguing exploration of the dark side of passion and ambition, with masks to symbolise human complexity and jangling music and haunting sound effects to reflect Jekyll/Hyde’s inner turmoil.

It comes to the Guildhall, Derby from October 11 to 13.