Double-sided musical to premiere

February 20, 2019 BY

Well-rehearsed: Ballarat Lyric Theatre’s cast of 40 will perform dark, dramatic musical, Jekyll and Hyde at the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts from late February until 10 March. Photo: EDWINA WILLIAMS

BALLARAT Lyric Theatre are in their final week of rehearsals before the premiere of Jekyll and Hyde the musical next Thursday, February 28 at the Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts.

The cast of over 40 amateur performers have volunteered their time, producing a professional standard show for Ballarat audiences.

Jekyll and Hyde is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s gothic Victorian novella, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, and follows an epic struggle between good and evil.

The story follows physician, Dr Jekyll, as he tries to cure his father’s mental illness, but in the process, develops his own alternate evil and murderous personality, Mr. Hyde.

The cast began rehearsing the dramatic musical in September last year, and have been getting used to their mesmerising transformative set since November.

BLT’s president, Michael Whitehead said the story, set in 1880s London, was adapted for the stage in the 1990s. It has been performed on Broadway and the West End to rave reviews.

“It was never brought out here,” he said. “A lot of people know the individual pieces of music but don’t realise it comes from here. The music is very melodic.”

Audiences will no doubt recognise iconic piece, This is the Moment, made famous by Anthony Warlow. The song will be sung by Dylan Shalless, who is performing the chilling role of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

To play essentially two roles at once has not been easy for him, but he said the experience has been amazing.

“You get to be the good guy and the bad guy in your own story,” Mr Shalless said. “It’s an incredibly complex challenge and requires a lot of work and commitment, but it’s also very rewarding and exciting. You don’t really get to do that as a performer.”

He’s looking forward to the audience seeing the cast’s efforts.

“I love sinking my teeth into becoming another character, but I also love being able to bring the entertainment to stage,” he said. “When you enjoy it, that’s what the audience enjoys.

“If you can really thrill them with the highs and chill them with the darker moments… You can get a rapturous applause or hear an absolute pin drop because everyone is just so shocked or terrified.

“It’s an incomparable feeling.”

There are 17 musicians in the show’s orchestra and at least 100 people behind the scenes are supporting the performers, helping with sets, painting, costumes, hair and makeup, fount of house, stage management and more.

Assistant director and choreographer, Kat Armati is pleased by how the show is running.

“It’s looking really good. It’s all come together in a heartbeat,” she said. “It really is that mix of Les Mis and Phantom. That darkness that both of them hold, it’s a very similar feel of show. The music is truly spectacular and I really encourage people to come and see it. It’s one that I think people will truly enjoy.”

The show will run until 10 March. Times and tickets are available at Adult tickets are $50 and concession $45.

Parental guidance is recommended for children under 16 years of age.

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