Five Reasons To See... The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Date: 27 October 2011
1. Robert Louis Stephenson's story obviously strikes a chord deep inside us. There have been over 140 different versions of it in every conceivable medium, from ballets & operas to comic strips and video games and all stations in between. And still they keep coming...!
2. This Jekyll & Hyde'is the sixth. show of mine to be staged at the Queen's Theatre in Hornchurch; but the first that I've written specifically for them. Hopefully it plays to the company's strengths: an ensemble show with a strong musical content ranging from music hall songs, through Gilbert and Sullivan, to Stravinsky's Rite of Spring for the actor/musicians to get stuck into.
3. In this version, Stevenson's story is presented as if it were being told in a 19th century music hall theatre, complete with a characteristically, chameleonic and charismatic chairman; vibrantly vivacious vocalists; serendipitous speciality acts – and even a banker to hiss & boo...
4. As well as using many of Stephenson's original words, the script also draws on Kipling, Oscar Wilde, Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe and Marie Lloyd as its sources. The intention being to provide a genuinely Gothic chiller crossed with a right good knees-up.
5. Passion & fun are what I like in a show, and are what I think the theatre does better than any other medium. Desperate situations; larger than life characters; whirling words & cheap gags; all served up hot & strong, in yer face, before your very eyes.
Chris Bond has written over 35 plays and directed over 100 in the UK, Europe and the USA. His first play was Sweeney Todd and it was this version on which Sondheim based his award-winning musical. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the second of Bond’s works to premiere at the Queen’s Theatre, the first being the acclaimed Lionel Bart musical It’s a Fine Life! in 2006.
- by Chris Bond
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