Paul Nicholas (pictured) stars in the UK premiere of Broadway musical Jekyll and Hyde, which embarks on a massive eight-month tour later this summer (See The Goss, 14 Nov 2002). The tour opens on 30 August 2004 (previews from 24 August) at Eastbourne’s Congress Theatre before continuing, until the end of May 2005, to some 30 further venues.

Originally seen in the US in the 1980s, the musical thriller - based on Robert Louis Stevenson's gorily gothic tale about a doctor whose fight with his inner self unleashes the horror of his darkest desires on the streets of 19th-century London - was substantially revised by Leslie Bricusse (book and lyrics) and Frank Wildhorn (music) for Broadway, where it opened in 1997 and ran for nearly four years, starring Baywatch's David Hasselhoff in the title role(s). The score includes "Someone Like You," "A New Life," and "This Is The Moment".

In 2001 (See The Goss, 3 Oct 2001), rumour had it that Jekyll and Hyde would be moving into the Phoenix Theatre, evicting Willy Russell's long-running Blood Brothers. The musical is now tipped to transfer to the West End at 2005 at the conclusion of the upcoming tour.

Actor and singer Nicholas is best known to TV viewers for the long-running 1980s sitcom Just Good Friends. His many musical theatre credits include Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease, Cats, Blondel, Charlie Girl, Doctor Doolittle, The Pirates of Penzance and, on tour last year, Fiddler on the Roof, while amongst his other recent stage credits are The Mysterious Mr Love, Mixed Feelings and Snakes and Ladders. Nicholas is also an accomplished theatrical producer, having backed such West End hits as Saturday Night Fever and Grease.

Following Eastbourne, Jekyll and Hyde will continue to Dartford, Sheffield, Glasgow, Wimbledon, Hull, Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Birmingham, High Wycombe, Woking, Milton Keynes, Blackpool, Belfast, Stoke, Darlington, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Southend, Bradford, Southampton, Swansea, Bromley, Bristol, Sunderland and Brighton, with further dates to be confirmed.

- by Terri Paddock