Ruben Rigillo grappling with ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’

On stage at the Ciak theater in Rome the reduction of the famous novel by Robert Louis Stevenson signed by the director Matteo Tarasco

It is certainly a “strange case” that involves – or would it be more correct to say ‘involved’ in the plural? – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, ‘two in one’ characters created from the imagination of the Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevensonprotagonists of the successful book with multiple versions and film adaptations, ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and of mr. Hyde’ precisely, now proposed in its theatrical reduction by the director Matteo Tarasco, with Reuben Rigillo to wear the double role of the virtuous doctor and benefactor and the murderous ‘werewolf’. With him on stage, until 12 February at Ciak theater in Romealso Linda Manganelli, Enrico Ottaviano, Giovanni Carta and Amedeo D’Amico.

The story, as is known, wraps around the split personality of the protagonist and its tragic consequences. “The respectable Dr Jekyll did not create the evil Mr Hyde, he dug him up in the depths of his own conscience,” observes the director Matthew Tarasco. “Robert Louis Stevenson offers us a dark and desperate story, which oscillates dangerously in the uncertain territory in which Eros and Thanatos dance entwined, an ever-present reflection on human nature and the seduction of evil”.

The director’s notes underline how the author describes “a world that loses its cultural references and debases ethical values, a world where personal interest becomes the primary motive of every act, where the unbridled satisfaction of the desire to power. Human beasts stir on the scene of the bourgeois world. The pre-eminence of instincts is hidden behind the mask of the quiet life. But the curse of the human race is that two beings tangled in an incongruous bond are forced to fight each other in the womb of the same conscience: good and evil, like two sides of the same coin, dwell in the soul of all of us and only free will determines the outcomes of our lives”.

(Of Enzo Bonaiuto)