Directed by Rachael Cheeseman with permission from Josef Weinberger
A new and shocking version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of depravity, lust, love and horror. On the fog-bound streets of Victorian-era London, Henry Jekyll's experiments with exotic "powders and tinctures" have brought forth his other self-Edward Hyde, a sensualist and villain free to commit the sins Jekyll is too civilized to comprehend. When Hyde meets a woman who stirs his interest, Jekyll fears for her life and decides to end his experiments. But Hyde has other ideas, and so the two sides battle each other in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse to determine who shall be the master and who his slave.
There are no scheduled performances of this production.
Rachael Cheeseman - Read through & Auditions 18/09/2012
Read through will be on Monday 15 October at Avonbourne School starting 8-00pm Audition will be Monday 22 October at Avonbourne School starting 8-00pm
Rachael Cheesemen - Character list 23/09/2012
Dr Henry Jekyll - ages dependent on other casting Mr Edward Hyde - ages dependent on other casting Gabriel Utterson - solicitor and old friend of Jekyll Elizabeth Jelkes - hotel maid, falls in love with Hyde Dr Lanyon - friend and colleague to Jekyll Sir Danvers Carew - Head surgeon Mrs Poole - Jekyll's housekeeper (to be doubled with Old Woman) Sanderson - Private detective Jekyll hires to follow Hyde Police Inspector - To be doubled Richard Enfield - Friend to Jekyll, could double with Sanderson Prostitute - Non-speaking Police Physician - To be doubled Surgical Students - Non-soeaking (up to 4, to be doubled with other roles) Maid - To be doubled Old Woman - Doubled with Mrs Poole Men 1, 2 and 3 plus Women 1 and 2 - To be doubled with other parts
Paul Nelson - Ticket Booking 09/01/2013
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I must be in the good books of this website’s editor, for it is the second time in a fortnight that she has asked me to review a play staged by Arena Theatre. They are in the premier league of local drama companies and their productions are always interesting. Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde certainly falls into that category and the performances are up to the high standard one would expect. Any lingering doubts about how successful the evening is are more to do with the play itself than with the production. R L Stevenson’s story is known to most people, which is just as well since it is almost the end of Act I before we are explicitly told that Jekyll and Hyde are the same person. It is often said to be about schizophrenia, but it operates on a philosophical rather than a medical level and is really about the good and the evil that we all carry inside ourselves. One of the most telling lines is given to one of the most minor characters, the witness to a gruesome murder: ‘The good in me would have called out sooner, but the bad in me wanted to go on watching.’ It is very much a play of two halves. Action in Act I is minimal, with no dramatic transformation scene, and with Hyde’s atrocities reported rather than seen. This is the theatre more as debating chamber than place of suspended disbelief, and the sudden change of pace in Act II is disconcerting. For the first time Jekyll and Hyde are on stage together and speak to each other more and more: the two are becoming indistinguishable from each other, a fact that is all too clear as Jekyll’s behaviour becomes increasingly Hyde-like in a flurry of action. ‘I can’t do without you and you can’t do without me,’ says Hyde, but it is his triumph. Grant James Mace holds the piece together as Dr Jekyll. If anything he underplays the part, but he establishes a quiet authority and, most importantly, contrasts with the louder, more extrovert Mr Hyde, an attractive and energetic performance by Sean Beaumont. Jekyll’s solicitor, Mr Utterson, who is the foil for Jekyll’s musings about the nature of the human soul in Act I and acts as a narrator, is played with calm assurance by Alan Colclough. Elizabeth, who falls in doomed love with Mr Hyde, is both spirited and vulnerable, and Tallulah Webb brings out these contrasting sides of the character skilfully. A special mention for Beverley Beck, who takes on the rather thankless minor role of Mrs Poole, Jekyll’s housekeeper, but does so entirely reliably. The costumes are by students from the costume course at Arts University Bournemouth. One has a duty to encourage young people, but one must also be honest, and these designers appear not to have reached the part of the course where they learn that costumes are there to serve the play, not vice versa. Why does Jekyll have what look like a pair of tinted goggles round his neck for the whole play? Worse, Utterson has his round his strangely-shaped top hat, so that they reflect the stage lights back into the audience’s eyes. Why are most characters wearing random chains and, in Utterson’s case, heavy leather straps round his thighs? It looks suspiciously like self-indulgence, is terribly distracting and does the production no favours at all. Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde is at Avonbourne College on 13 and 14 March, at Weymouth Drama Club on 16 March, and at Lytchett Matravers Village Hall on 23 March.
EVERYONE knows the story of Jekyll and Hyde and I did wonder, having seen numerous films, how would it transfer to the stage. In Rachael Cheeseman’s excellent production it did so very well. This team of actors did their director and the script proud. There was not one weak character in the 12 strong cast. Beverley Beck in the small but necessary role of Mrs Poole gave an assured performance as did Richard Facer, Scott Sullivan, Saffron Wills and Amy Towler. Will Butcher as Mr Enfield spoke a little too quickly to be completely understood but as the Police Inspector came into his own. Gerry Carroll as Sir Danvers Carew gave a believable performance and Alan Colclough as Mr Utterson was assured and always in control as was Gareth Richards as Dr H K Lanyon. Elizabeth Jelkes (Tallulah Webb) showed the vulnerability of the hapless girl who falls in love with the evil Hyde. Grant James Mace gave us a quiet and seemingly in control Dr Jekyll who is unable to control Hyde. This was an excellent performance. However, the outstanding performance of the evening came from Sean Beaumont as Edward Hyde. He scared me several times during the evening and played the part to perfection. Both these parts were exceptional and their facial expressions second to none.