Live theatre is back in business as The Court Youth Company present their sold-out production of classic tale, Jekyll & Hyde.
Performed with a radical twist, this bold adaptation reimagines Robert Louis Stevenson’s gothic novella for the modern age, telling the story of the women left behind, including Harriet Jekyll.
Abandoned after her husband’s death, Harriet strives to understand the science he left behind, before other forces come into play – including a young woman connecting to the story from modern-day London...
“Rather than an adaptation of Jekyll & Hyde, we get a sequel of sorts,” explains director Dan Bain. “What happened to his wife, the woman who found him dead at the end of the original story - and what would have happened if she continued his scientific experiments?”
Bain, who previously directed Boudica for The Court Youth Company, has been impressed with the young performers he’s working with.
“This has been a huge project and the company have definitely risen to the challenge,” says Assistant Rehearsal Director, Riley Harter, who regularly tutors the company throughout the year. “They have jumped head-first into some pretty challenging material and their ability to work with text and commit to characters has grown immensely.”
For the young actress playing Harriet Jekyll, Isayah Snow, taking on this leading role has been a thrill.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing Harriet because of the emotional journey she goes through as a woman in Victorian England. There is an etiquette she has to fit into and it’s interesting playing those refined emotions that are stuck behind societal walls – and then finding the places to let those walls fall down.”
As the story switches between Victorian England and modern-day Soho, audiences will see how two worlds collide – and how the fate of women today connects with those back in the 19th Century.
“I love that the show visits multiple locations, time periods and allows for interesting transitions and theatrical choices,” says Programmes Manager Rachel Tully, who oversees the company and was involved in programming the show. “This show really challenges its performers and audiences, asking how do we make change in society? When is it ok to be angry?”
Speaking about the strong feminist angle of the piece, Snow says, “There are levels added onto the original themes of the novella, with bigger contrasts between good and evil due to the limited standing women had in society in that time period.”
With its extension now sold-out, this radical drama will play to full houses, a Christmas treat for this young company as they perform their final show of 2020.
Speaking about the support they’ve received from Canterbury audiences, Tully says “We are so lucky to be able to perform a show this year and it’s amazing that so many members of our community want to come and see live theatre.”