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Review: Jekyll and Hyde at the Southwark Playhouse

Has the Young Vic got the most exciting theatre programme of 2014?

Photo by Sam Carpenter on Flickr and used under a creative commons liscence
It's been a while since I got excited about a season of plays. Most theatres, that decide on their programmes in advance, have one or two productions that get the 'Oooo' reaction but the Young Vic's had me positively jumping up and down for lots of different reasons.

First up they've got Juliet Stevenson in Samuel Beckett's play Happy Days. Don't know the play but I am fond of Beckett and I've long been a fan of Stevenson.

Then we've got A View From The Bridge, one of my favourite plays which is a delicious enough prospect in itself but the Young Vic has a reputation for putting a different spin on classics - Michael Sheen as Hamlet set in a mental asylum, and last year's tables and mud production of Three Sisters, for example.

They've got Belgian director Ivo Van Hove on board who has worked internationally but not yet in the UK. Don't know anything about his work and style which also adds another layer of interest (any theatre fans out there have a view of his work?)

Kathryn Hunter is the draw of the next play on the list: The Valley of Astonishment. I haven't seen nearly enough of Hunter's work and want to remedy that. She is such a unique performer. 

Then, if all that wasn't already enough, we have A Street Car Named Desire with Gillian Anderson. Another favourite play, another great actress and, back directing, is Australian Benedict Andrews who was behind the aforementioned Three Sisters production.

It has even made me excited about the next production: The Cherry Orchard. It's a play I rarely like (just sell the piggin' Cherry Orchard and stop your whinging) but Simon Stephens has written this version and my favourite marmite director Katie Mitchell is at the helm. I've seen three of her plays and loved two and hated one with a passion so it could definitely go either way.

So expectations are high. I'm expecting some out-there productions, some interesting takes and interpretations, more interesting casting announcements and I'm also expecting not everything to work but that, perversely is part of the excitement.