The Island of Doctor Moreau

Piper Theatre Productions’ Edinburgh Fringe debut is utterly captivating. With a cast armed solely with suitcases and bandages, accompanied by Lucas Syed’s cello and cajon drum, every scene is performed to perfection, with fully fleshed-out scenarios and characters magicked out of thin air.

H.G. Wells’ tale of a shipwrecked doctor who comes across Doctor Moreau’s experiments and his island of monstrous creatures is a compelling story and the company never lose momentum in the telling of it. Transitions between characters and scenes are instantaneous, with the performers taking it in turn to play the protagonist, whilst switching effortlessly between characters and creatures in the blink of an eye. The mix of third and first person narration creates an intimate but claustrophobic feel to the narrative and the incessant pace gives the audience no time to rest. Exploring issues of humanity, morality and religion, it is thought-provoking without beating you around the head with some sort of explicit message. The ending offers little explanation or solace but is moving nonetheless.

The stark score is spellbinding, adding movement and pathos to the piece, as well as contrasting with the perfectly-timed haunting silences. Everything about the production is choreographed to perfection, with every person’s movements embodying their character, using the space, and aligning with their fellow performers for all synchronised movements and speech. There are some stellar performances, with Christopher C. Cariker’s Doctor Moreau touching the right sinister notes without ever becoming pantomime. However, every single performer was able to perform a stunning range of characters, from half-witted pig creatures to a wild female puma to a conference of scientists to the creepy alcoholic sidekick to Moreau. An absolute must-see.

Reviews by Carys Evans

The Battersea Barge

I Love You You're Perfect Now Change

★★★
The Crazy Coqs Cabaret & Jazz Club

Ray Shell - Back To Black II

★★★
Camden People's Theatre

The Forensics of a Flat (and other stories)

★★★
Leicester Square Theatre / THE LONDON THEATRE - New Cross

Jo Burke: Burke Shire

★★★
St James Theatre

Urinetown: The Musical

★★★★

Back To Black

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Savage tale of science run amok. A young man lands on an island where a madman is taking nature down a dark road. Piper's daringly physical adaptation and haunting original score evokes otherworldly horror. www.pipertheatre.org

Most Popular See More

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Back to the Future - The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets