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Arts of the UK 2020: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde by Blackeyed Theatre (Preview)

Screenshot 2020-09-04 at 8.44.38 AM

LONDON – Blackeyed Theatre have announced that their highly acclaimed production of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s novella by Nick Lane, will be performed to a socially-distanced audience at the Wilde Theatre in Bracknell, Berkshire, on Friday 18 September and be available to watch LIVE online and on demand. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde will be the first performance in the Wilde Theatre since March, when they officially closed their doors due to COVID-19.

The roles of Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde will be played by Blake Kubena (Vikings, History Channel; Othello, Alabama Shakespeare Festival; All’s Well that Ends Well, Minack Theatre). Joining Blake and reprising their roles from Blackeyed Theatre’s 2017 production are Zach Lee (Bouncers, Glass Menagerie, Hull Truck; The Derby McQueen Affair, York Theatre Royal; Treasure Island, Harrogate Theatre) as Gabriel Utterson, Paige Round (Hurling Rubble at the Moon, Park Theatre; Nobody, Hanyong Theatre/National Theatre Company of Korea) as Eleanor Lanyon and Ashley Sean-Cook (Frankenstein, Blackeyed Theatre; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Children’s Touring Partnership; Might Never Happen, King’s Head) as Hastings Lanyon.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde is adapted and directed by Nick Lane, who was Associate Director and Literary Manager at Hull Truck from 2006 to 2014, with original music composed by Tristan Parkes. Completing the artistic team are Enric Ortuño (Movement and Intimacy Director), Victoria Spearing (Set Design), Naomi Gibbs (Costume Design) and Claire Childs (Lighting Design).

Doctor Henry Jekyll is a good man. Successful within his field and respected by his peers, he’s close to a neurological discovery that will change the face of medical science forever. However, his methods are less than ethical, and when a close friend and colleague threatens to expose and destroy his work, Jekyll is forced to experiment on himself, whereupon something goes very wrong…or very right. And suddenly Jekyll has a new friend, the brutal Edward Hyde.

A thrilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde immerses you in the myth and mystery of 19th century London’s fog-bound streets where love, betrayal and murder lurk at every chilling twist and turn.

This gripping production takes inspiration from Nick Lane’s own personal journey. Injured by a car accident at the age of 26 that permanently damaged his neck and back, Lane imagines Jekyll as a physically weakened man who discovers a cure for his ailments, a cure that also unearths the darkest corners of his psyche. Lane says, If someone offered me a potion that was guaranteed to make me feel the way I did before the accident, but with the side effect that I’d become ruthless and horrible – would I drink it?

Says Nick Lane: “In this chaotic period in our history, the arts serve as an oasis of peace and I’m absolutely delighted to be working with Blackeyed again to bring autumn chills down the spines of any audience member with Jekyll and Hyde. It’s a timeless story that we’ve put into historical context, adding detail that will intrigue people who know the novel and those coming to it fresh”.

Blackeyed Theatre will also be making the recording of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde available to schools, along with accompanying video resources designed to support students of Drama, Performing Arts and English Literature. This is in addition to their recordings of Teechers by John Godber and Oh What A Lovely War by Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop, which are available exclusively to schools to license for the entire 2020/2021 academic year. These resources, including the full shows and interviews with cast and creatives, are designed to address the specific challenges teachers and students face in the coming academic year.

Adrian McDougall, Artistic Director of Blackeyed Theatre said: “We’ve been working towards getting Jekyll & Hyde back on stage for many months now, and there have been times when it’s been touch and go. But I’m really pleased we can finally get back into the rehearsal room and create some great theatre for a live audience. As well as producing something new and exciting for a public online audience, it means we can add Jekyll & Hyde to our online library of syllabus-related work, and we’ll be creating lots of educational content to accompany the show for our schools audience. In the meantime, we continue to plan to welcome live audiences to the live tour later in the year”.

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde will be livestreamed on 18th September 2020. Tickets available here

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