Big Finish executive producer Nick Briggs is directing a stage production of his adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, from the 3rd August at the Theatre Royal Nottingham...
Jekyll and Hyde, the title of Nick's adaptation, will be presented as the opening production of the Theatre Royal Nottingham's Colin McIntyre Classic Thriller Season 2015.
'It's a thriller season I've been privileged to work with since 1997,' says Nick. 'I can't claim to have been there every year since then, but I have been there far more often than not.
'It's done in the old fashioned way, as weekly rep. That means there's a new play every week, and the actors have to perform a play in the evening while rehearsing the next play during the day. At any one time, they have to hold two plays in their head. It's real "seat of your pants" stuff, and it leads to a special brand of theatre, charged with energy and excitement. It's really popular at the Theatre Royal and largely has a loyal audience all of its own.'
Last year, Nick directed two productions for the season, having, in previous years, always acted and directed in the season.
A couple of years ago, Nick freely adapted Tim Kelly's stage adaptation of Frankenstein (with the permission of the adaptor's estate). 'It was almost like writing it from scratch,' says Nick. 'So the seed was sown for the idea of my adapting another supernatural classic for the season. Last year, they mentioned Jekyll and Hyde to me, so I read the book. At the beginning of this year, I was commissioned to write the adaptation.
'It's been great fun, and it's such a privilege to be able to direct it too. Oh, and I've also composed all the music as well.'
The cast includes two actors who have featured in Big Finish audio adventures. Andrew Fettes plays Mr Edward Hyde. Listeners may recognise him from productions such as Doctor Who: The Glorious Revolution, Counter-Measures, Doctor Who: The Sirens of Time, The Ordeals of Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who: The Magic Mousetrap and many more. Susan Earnshaw plays Dr Jekyll's housekeeper Mrs Poole (a butler named Poole in Stevenson's original). Sue features in the upcoming The Brink of Death, part of Doctor Who: The Sixth Doctor - The Last Adventure.
Jekyll and Hyde plays at the Theatre Royal Nottingham from Monday August 3rd until and including Saturday August 8th. Details of how to book tickets are here. And you never know, on the opening night, Nick might well be at the theatre's stage door!