Jekyll & Hyde

Posted on: 22nd March 2022

The National Theatre visited NEW Academy recently and students were able to watch an amazing touring version of Jekyll & Hyde.

This is a radical re-imagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novella. Evan Placey’s adaptation tells the story of a gender-swapped Jekyll and Hyde in Victorian England, exploring the repression of women and stifled female ambition. The production then moves to the present day, looking at misogyny and extremism in 21st Century Britain.

Directed by Kirsty Housley, the tour which visited Wolverhampton was part of a seven week UK tour and watched by over 10,500 students across the UK. The stage was set up in Endeavour Hall and played in front of an audience of 200 students from year 9 to year 11.

Writer Evan Placey said: “Jekyll & Hyde is an opportunity for young people to look at narratives they think they know well in radical new ways – asking questions about feminism and misogyny and how we bring about change.

“At a time when we need stories more than ever, and when it is conversely much more difficult for schools and young people to access live theatre, I am beyond thrilled that the National Theatre are bringing this play into schools and into the lives of young people who have been robbed of so much over the last couple years.

“Live theatre can be transformational, and every young person deserves the opportunity to engage with it.”

Wolverhampton Grand is one of the National Theatre’s partners, helping to bring the tour to schools across the nation.

Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre said: “Touring live theatre directly into school halls is an essential part of the NT’s commitment to young people nationwide and so we’re delighted that with close support from our Theatre Nation Partners, Evan Placey’s reimagining of Jekyll & Hyde will be seen by over 10,500 young people in our first schools’ tour since 2019.

“We know access to the arts has a positive impact on the wellbeing and social development of young people and so as schools continue to face disruption and adapt to new ways of teaching, it’s more important than ever that we support creative learning as part of a broad education.

“The production explores pressing issues in today’s society and we hope it will spark discussion, encourage debate and create moments to bring together the school community again.”

Laura Wilkes, Vice Principal for Quality of Education, said: “Being able to bring the magic of The National Theatre into our school was a fantastic experience for our students, some of whom have never experienced live theatre before. The production was incredible and students are still buzzing about play.

“The Q&A with the cast and crew afterwards gave our students a chance to find out more about a career working in the theatre and for some this will be a reality. We have a hotbed of talent at NEW Academy and being able to give them a line of sight into one of the best theatre companies in the world was a great opportunity.”

Photograph credit: The Other Richard

Category: Academy news

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