The strange case of Jekyll and Bride

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By SHELLEY TOPP

The lead performer for North Canterbury Musical’s upcoming production of Jekyll and Hyde became engaged to another performer in the show over Easter.

The couple, Lance McBride, who plays Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in the show, and Emma Price, who is a member of the chorus, playing a part-time pick-pocket, debutante and cynical lady of the night, met about eight years ago at university. The proposal involved some cunning misdirection and the help of a friend, Campbell Boyd, proposing an impromptu late-night run to the McDonald’s restaurant in Ashburton.

“This is something of a tradition with our group of friends,” Lance says.

“It is an absurdity that has its roots in an incident only three weeks into our relationship, when my mother went into a sudden diabetic coma.”

To counter the shock of his mother’s coma and help him through the initial period of uncertainty, Emma and Campbell took Lance on the inaugural Ashburton trip.

“We have repeated the trip a number of times since then and it is something of a private ritual now that, on the way, we pay our respects to the Rakaia salmon,” Lance says.

“So just after I had lifted Emma up to kiss the fish, I lowered her back down, and, before she had turned around, I was on one knee. I know it’s silly, but it’s a brand of silliness that appeals to us both.”

They have yet to set a wedding date.

“We have a PhD (Lance) and a Masters (Emma) to get through first, so it is unlikely to be before 2020,” Lance says.

“We have our sights set loosely on an April wedding, but plans are very much subject to pragmatic concerns at the moment.”

Jekyll and Hyde opens at the Rangiora Town Hall Theatre on May 10 and ends on Saturday May 26.