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Matthew Backer and Ewen Leslie in Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Photo: Rene Vaile Download images

20 June 2022

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,” Williams said.

“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.

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde plays at Roslyn Packer Theatre from 3 August – 3 September.


Media Enquiries:
Helene Fox, PR Manager
(02) 9250 1705
Emily Ritchie, Publicist (02) 9250 1703

Notes to Editors

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
By Robert Louis Stevenson
Adapted and Directed by Kip Williams

Roslyn Packer Theatre

Previews 3 - 8 August
Opening Night 9 August
Season until 3 September

Adapter & Director Kip Williams
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

With Matthew Backer and Ewen Leslie

Box Office: (02) 9250 1777 / Book online

About Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 
The award-winning creative team behind the sold-out smash hit The Picture of Dorian Gray returns with another vivid adaptation of a Gothic classic, transformed for the stage through engrossing live video. Written and directed by STC Artistic Director Kip Williams, this spellbinding adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s mystery for the ages is set to be an unmissable production on the cutting edge of theatrical and cinematic design. Penned by one of the English language’s greatest writers, 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. One of the most gripping and intricate tales ever told, this chilling detective story has captivated artists and audiences alike for generations. Two virtuosic actors – Matthew Backer (Cloud Nine, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Chimerica) and Ewen Leslie (Julius Caesar, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, The War of the Roses) – will perform all the roles in the thrilling chronicle of the doomed and divided Jekyll, the rapacious Hyde, and the transfixed Utterson, caught in between. This dazzling production will blur the lines between good and bad, the self and the other, the public and the private, and the artist and the audience.

About Kip Williams
Kip Williams has been Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company since 2016. At STC he has directed Julius Caesar, Playing Beatie Bow, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord of the Flies, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Cheery Soul, Harp in the South Parts One & Two, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Three Sisters, Cloud Nine, Chimerica, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All My Sons, The Golden Age, Love and Information (a coproduction with Malthouse Theatre), Suddenly Last Summer, Children of the Sun, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Under Milk Wood. He was Associate Director on Cyrano de Bergerac with Andrew Upton. In 2015, Kip won the Helpmann Award for Best Direction of a Play for his STC production of Suddenly Last Summer. Two years later Kip won Best Direction at the 2017 Green Room Awards for Miss Julie at MTC, which also won Best Production and Best Digital Media Design and Integration. Kip won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Director in 2018 for STC’s The Harp in the South, the play also receiving the award for Best Production and Best New Australian Work. Most recently Kip’s production of The Picture of Dorian Gray received four 2021 Sydney Theatre Awards, including Best Mainstage Production and Best Direction. Kip was appointed Directing Associate at STC in 2012, and was Resident Director at STC from 2013 until being made Artistic Director in late 2016 – the youngest person to hold the position in the company’s history. A graduate of both NIDA and Sydney University, Kip is now on the Board of Directors for NIDA. 

About The Picture of Dorian Gray
Sydney Theatre Company’s critically-acclaimed adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray was adapted and directed by STC Artistic Director Kip Williams and first premiered in 2020 to five-star reviews, a sold-out season and two season extensions. The breathtaking and vibrantly contemporary mash-up of theatre and cinema sees one actor - Eryn Jean Norvill - nimbly shapeshift to play all 26 characters of Wilde’s iconic tale. A performance described as “one of the greatest ever seen on an Australian stage” (Time Out), the show employs multiple live cameras and pre-recorded video which allow Norvill (Suddenly Last Summer, Romeo and Juliet) to create an audacious cascade of theatrical transformations. The STC production is currently playing at Arts Centre Melbourne, presented by Michael Cassel Group, with plans to tour Broadway and beyond.

Australia Council for the Arts       NSW Government