The award-winning creative team behind Sydney Theatre Company’s critically-acclaimed production The Picture of Dorian Gray will realise another gothic adaptation written by STC Artistic Director Kip Williams, this time Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde, which premieres at Roslyn Packer Theatre this August.
Williams, who will also direct this production, will again employ the innovative “cine-theatre” live video techniques that have become synonymous with his work, and has engaged two phenomenal actors – Ewen Leslie (Julius Caesar) and Matthew Backer (Cloud Nine) – to bring his unique vision of this gripping story to life.
Considered one of the most thrilling mysteries ever told, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde follows London lawyer Gabriel Utterson as he attempts to unravel the mysteries surrounding his friend Dr Henry Jekyll and the shadowy new presence in his life: Mr Edward Hyde.
Williams said he was particularly interested in interrogating the friendship at the heart of this epic tale, the multiplicitous nature of humans and the societal forces that lead people to compartmentalise their personalities in the public and private spheres.
“Strange Case of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde is about the need we have to be authentic and for that authenticity to be expressed outside of ourselves to the people we care about,” said Williams.
“My hope for the production is that it will be a very moving story about one friend wanting to be fully witnessed by another friend. That’s the human heartbeat of this story – about the cost of compartmentalisation, the tragedy of it, and how it sits in tension with the human need to ultimately be witnessed.”
The production will take inspiration from familiar genres including film noir, horror, detective stories, thriller, sci-fi and surrealism, blending theatrical and cinematic styles to give the show a “fever-dream quality”.
Williams will once again be flanked by the award-winning creative team that brought The Picture of Dorian Gray to life – set and costume designer Marg Horwell, lighting designer Nick Schlieper, composer Clemence Williams, video designer David Bergman, associate director and STC’s Richard Wherrett Fellow Ian Michael, and assistant video designer Sarah Hadley. They will be joined by sound designer Michael Toisuta and voice and text coach, Charmian Gradwell.
Director: Kip Williams | Featuring: Matthew Backer, Ewen Leslie | Designer: Marg Horwell | Lighting Designer: Nick Schlieper | Composer: Clemence Williams | Sound Designer: Michael Toisuta | Video Designer: David Bergman | Assistant Video Director: Sarah Hadley | Associate Director: Ian Michael | Voice & Text Coach: Charmian Gradwell
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Roslyn Packer Theatre, 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney)
Season: 11 August – 3 September 2022 (previews: 3 – 8 August)
Information and Bookings: www.sydneytheatre.com.au
Image: Matthew Backer and Ewen Leslie star in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – photo by Rene Vaile