Back to top

Canons High School

'The Mysterious Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde'

by Robert Louis Stevenson is a famous novel, first published nearly 140 years ago. It has been much adapted for stage and screen. 

As a story in what we now call the Gothic Horror genre, it is being studied by our Year 11 students as part of their upcoming GCSE English exams.

To help this year group get to grips and better understand the story, with its twists and turns, we were visited again by a group of players from Quantum Theatre. As with all the plays they perform, their adaptation of Jekyll and Hyde captured the essence and spirit of the original text whilst presenting it in a fast paced, tightly choreographed and highly entertaining style.

Inventive and extremely effective use of props and special lighting effects really brought this dark and brooding story to life, certainly helping our students as well as entertaining everyone who watched.

Huge thanks to Quantum Theatre, who we certainly hope to see yet again in the future.

 

 

 

Scene: Utterson confronts the sinister Mr Hyde after spotting him entering his laboratory by the back door.

 

 


The entire production was expertly put together and performed by an enthusiastic and friendly crew of just four from Quantum Theatre.

Thanks guys and we hope to see you again soon.

 

Robert Louis Stevenson

  1850-1894

(reminding me in this picture of Professor Snape) wrote 'Jekyll and Hyde' in 1885, the year after this photograph was taken.

To place things into historical perspective, at the time of its publishing Queen Victoria is still on the British throne and London is still to encounter the true life horror of the Jack the Ripper murders in two year's time! In fact, the first stage production of the story in London took place in 1888, the year of Jack the Ripper,  and subsequently had to be shut down, such was the hysteria surrounding the ongoing and never solved Ripper murders! 

 

Plot

Stevenson had long been intrigued by the idea of how human personalities can reflect the interplay of good and evil.  In Jekyll and Hyde, Stevenson examines where a scientist has used a serum to literally separate the good and evil sides of a single person, into two very different manifestations. These end up struggling to control each other, being confined within the same physical body.

 

Split Personality 

The phrase 'Jekyll and Hyde' entered common usage to describe someone exhibiting dual personalities many years ago.

I wonder if Robert Louis Stevenson had any idea how his story would permeate through the decades, with it's thoughts as relevant today as back in Victorian Britain?

 

Other works

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote many famous stories during his short and poor health afflicted 44 year lifetime.

Most famous are probably "Treasure Island", a story of pirates and treasure that introduced the world to 'Long John Silver', and "Kidnapped" which takes place during the troubled Scotland of the Jacobite Rising of 1745.