Sarah Brigham introduces Jekyll & Hyde

Ahead of next week's transfer from Derby Theatre of our co-production of Jekyll and Hyde, we spoke to the director of the play, Sarah Brigham. "Neil Bartlett is a writer I have worked with previously when I directed his adaptation of Great Expectations in 2017. I love the way he allows the storytelling to really jump off the page and gives real opportunity for the company to fluidly and seamlessly tell a story. Whenever I read one of his plays, I feel like I’m in the middle of it as he conjures up such vivid emotions and pictures. So, in 2018 when I was looking for a writer to adapt the story of Jekyll and Hyde, he was my immediate choice. It felt a very relevant novel to bring to the stage, as we sat amidst the #metoo campaign, and this is exactly what resonates for me in Neil’s visceral adaptation. It’s this examination of male toxicity which gives it its’ guts. The Gentlemen are willing to support, cover up, lie about and ignore the misdemeanours of their colleague in order to sustain an elite patriarchy which keeps some people (often women) on the outside. In this version it takes three women, of different classes, to drag this story out into the sunlight for us all to examine. The parallels for us as a contemporary audience are clear, it is not only an accurate echo of the past, but worryingly a direct mirror image of the present. I also love that we see the women’s Hyde personalities spring through – whether this is the salacious Poole, to the upright religious Matron, Stevenson’s fascination with Jekyll or The Girl’s need to both run away from and confront her trauma. Great drama should leave you questioning and thinking, and I hope that is what our production does for you. The creative team have really worked as much as an ensemble as the actors have – direction, movement, voice, design, lighting and sound have all had to play their part of the jigsaw as we bring Neil’s adaptation to life. I hope you enjoy watching and feeling this story unfold." Jekyll and Hyde plays at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch from 26 October – 12 November. Tickets start from £12.50 and under 26s can attend any performance for just £8. For more details and to book.

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