Birmingham Repertory Theatre Presents The Young REP in Classic Story JEKYLL & HYDE
A radical re-imagining of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story, Jekyll & Hyde, opens at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 18 April. Written by award-winning playwright Evan Placey and directed by Tessa Walker, this iconic story will be brought to life by a company of talented young performers aged 14 - 18 from Birmingham Repertory Theatre's youth theatre, The Young REP.
This timely new take on the chilling tale follows the story of Harriet Jekyll's investigation into her husband's mysterious death. Taking her into a dark and dangerous world of science, taverns and misogyny that no decent Victorian woman has dared to enter before. It's a world that she's desperate to change but to do so, she must embrace the creature she's changing into. As she sets about her blood-thirsty mission, her actions start to bleed into the present day.
Award-winning writer Evan Placey (Girls Like That, Orange Polar Bear) combines contemporary chills and gothic horror in this adaptation. He says:
"I think the biggest challenge is that I'm taking on a well-known title...I re-read the novella and I was like 'Where are the women?' This adaptation goes quite far away from the original, but it preserves the heart of the story. Having female protagonists really draws parallels between what it means to be a woman in Victorian England and what it means today, so audiences should expect to see the story with fresh eyes."
Following the previous success of The Young REP productions of The Rotters' Club and To Sir, With Love, Jekyll & Hyde is directed by The REP's Associate Director Tessa Walker (The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and The Hundred And One Dalmatians), she says:
"Evan Placey's adaptation of Jekyll & Hyde shifts the focus to Jekyll's wife Harriet and is a fantastic, radical, surprising re-working of the original story. Presenting this show with The Young REP is incredibly important, they're not only a creative bunch of people... they're the beating heart of our work here at The REP."
The cast includes Niamh Franklin as Jekyll and Sophie Mae Reynolds as Hyde, with Brandon Hinds, Ella Kirk, Peter Harrison, Leah Jones, Renee Kelly, Sophie Wellavize, Elijah McDowell, Miles Dunkley, Kate Holmes, Katie Huffer, Scarlett Taylor, Maly Hussain, Shawnalee Stewart, Thomas Manion and Daniel J Kenton.
Jekyll & Hyde is designed by Cecilia Carey with lighting design by Simon Bond, compositions and sound design by Iain Armstrong and movement by Sarah Worth.
The Young REP is proudly supported The REP's Youth Theatre Partner, KPMG LLP. The Young REP is Birmingham Repertory Theatre's youth theatre company, working with young people aged 7 - 25 across Birmingham and the West Midlands. Young people work with professional theatre-makers to create and produce a broad range of high quality theatrical experiences. All members perform at Birmingham Repertory Theatre during the year.