By SHELLEY TOPP
North Canterbury Musicals, formerly known as the North Canterbury Musical Society, is busy preparing a new show, Jekyll and Hyde, for opening night on May 10. The musical horror-drama is being performed in the Rangiora Town Hall. It is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s book, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Jekyll and Hyde is set in 19th century London and tells the story of a brilliant physician, Dr Jekyll, who tries to cure his father’s mental illness by creating an alternative personality but inadvertently gives life to the evil Mr Hyde, instead.
The Rangiora production is being directed by Paul Johnson, born and raised in North Canterbury. Paul previously directed Guys and Dolls and Disney’s Beauty and the Beastfor North Canterbury Musicals, along with many other musical productions in North Canterbury.
Paul has also written two successful musicals himself, The Jungle Book (2013) and Robin Hood (2017). He has 14 years experience teaching speech and drama at the Hartley School of Performing Arts in Rangiora.
Jekyll and Hyde, a classic tale of the battle between good and evil, is one of Paul’s favorite musicals. It was first presented in Houston Texas in 1990 where it broke box-office records.
Paul is thrilled to be now involved in North Canterbury Musicals’ Rangiora production of the show.
“The music was what first captured me with this show, such powerful and catchy tunes.
“Delving further into the script, it has allowed me to really work with the actors on the nuances of their characters and the facades they hide behind.”
The lead role of Dr Henry Jekyll/Mr Hyde in the Rangiora production is filled by Lance McBride, from Christchurch’s theatre scene.
This will be Lance’s third performance with North Canterbury Musicals, having first joined the chorus of Jesus Christ Superstar before stepping forward as the cursed Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Briar Patrick, a singing and drama tutor from Rangiora, plays Emma Carew, Dr Jekyll’s fiancee. Briar has performed in many North Canterbury Musicals productions, including The Sound of Music as Maria and in Company as April. She has also performed in shows produced by Showbiz Christchurch, MUSOC and Magnitude Productions.
*** Tickets to opening night to give away ***
The North Canterbury News has two free tickets to the opening night performance of North Canterbury Musicals’ production of Jekyll and Hyde in the Rangiora Town Hall on May 10 to give away.
To enter the draw, email the editor Robyn Bristow at email@example.com, putting Jekyll and Hyde in the subject line. Please put your name, address and telephone number in the body of the email. Mailed entries can be addressed to Jekyll and Hyde Competition, C/O Robyn Bristow, PO Box 86, Amberley. Please put your name, address and telephone number on the back of the envelope.
The draw will be done on May 2 and the winners will be told by phone. The show runs until May 26. Bookings can be made by phoning 0508 ITICKET (or 0508 484 253), or at Stan’s 7-Day Pharmacy, the Christchurch i-Site, or the Kaiapoi i-Site.