National Theatre of Scotland and Selkie Productions
Supported by Screen Scotland and Sky Arts present
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
In selected UK cinemas from 7 to 29 October 2023
The film will subsequently be broadcast on Sky Arts on 30 October
Directed by Hope Dickson Leach (The Levelling)
Written by Hope Dickson Leach and Vlad Butucea
Based on the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson
Music by Hudson Mohawke and composer Hutch Demouilpied (Limbo)
Starring Lorn Macdonald (Beats, Bridgerton) and Henry Pettigrew (The Crown)
Also Tam Dean Burn, Greg Miller Burns, Caroline Deyga, Lois Hagerty, David Hayman, Scott Miller, Alison Peebles, Henry Peter Singh, Paul Tinto, Patrick Wallace and Ali Watt
For more information on the film and screening sites click here
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, director Hope Dickson Leach’s new version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story, co-written with Vlad Butucea, will be shown at selected cinemas in Scotland and UK, following its world premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in August 2023 and will subsequently be broadcast on Sky Arts (Freeview) on 30 October at 9pm. Adapted from the original novella and relocated from London to Edinburgh, this film is a National Theatre of Scotland and Selkie Productions supported by Screen Scotland and Sky Arts. The film is distributed in cinemas by Cosmic Cat.
Filmed largely within the atmospheric setting of Edinburgh’s historic Leith Theatre, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was originally presented in February 2022 as a performed live, filmic experience in the venue.
Embracing the duality of the storyline and the period authenticity, the film was shot in black and white. It features a cast of leading Scottish stage and screen talent and music by DJ and music producer Hudson Mohawke and composer Hutch Demouilpied (Limbo).
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Hope Dickson Leach and Vlad Butucea, returns to Edinburgh born writer Robert Louis Stevenson’s original story which was published in 1886. The drama follows Gabriel Utterson as he enters a world of dark duplicity to uncover the identity of the mysterious Mr Hyde and the hold he has over Utterson’s old friend Dr Jekyll.
In this version, Utterson’s journey is set against the background and backdrop of Victorian Edinburgh, where the wealth of the breweries is contrasted with the poverty of the Cowgate Vaults, exposing an underbelly of dark truths and corruption. Concerned by his good friend Dr Henry Jekyll’s recent behaviour, Gabriel Utterson is driven to uncover the identity of the mysterious and dangerous Mr. Hyde, to whom Jekyll is enthralled. Whilst on this search for the truth, Utterson finds himself seduced by the society of Edinburgh’s rich and powerful, but beneath the glossy façade lies a grim and brutal reality.
This is a Jekyll and Hyde reworked for a contemporary audience with the themes of power, class and masculinity brought to the fore.
Selected cinema screening dates
07/10 | Dundee Contemporary Arts
14/10 | Firstsite, Colchester
19/10 | Firstsite, Colchester
20/10 | Phoenix, Oban
22/10 | Glasgow Film Theatre with Cast and Crew Q&A
27/10 | Cameo, Edinburgh with Cast and Crew Q&A
27/20 | Dukes, Lancaster | 13:45 & 18:30
27/20 | Dukes, Lancaster
28/10 | Eden Court
28/10 | Alhambra, Keswick
28/10 | Bo’ness Hippodrome
28/10 | Norden Farm Centre for Arts
29/10 | Alhambra, Keswick
29/10 | Dukes, Lancaster
Lorn Macdonald takes on the role of Utterson. Lorn won the Best Actor Scottish BAFTA award for his portrayal of Spanner in the film Beats. His roles on TV include Bridgerton, Deadwater Fell and Shetland. He was noted as one of the top 25 theatre-makers to look out for in 2022 by The Stage. Dr Jekyll is performed by Scottish actor Henry Pettigrew. Henry’s screen roles include The Danish Girl as well as TV series The Crown and Guilt. He has appeared in previous National Theatre of Scotland productions Midsummer, Black Watch and Beautiful Burnout. They are both joined by Scottish stage and TV stalwart David Hayman who is playing the role of Sir Danvers Carew. David is a well know actor and director with recent film credits including In Like Flynn and Our Ladies. Peter Singh (Lanyon) has a prolific career on stage and screen, with recent film roles including Cruella and on TV, The Capture I and II (BBC) and Hard Cell (Netflix).
Alison Peebles (Poole) is an award-winning Scottish actor, writer and director. Her film work includes Where Do We Go From Here and Seven Lucky Gods and her TV work spans CBeebies hit Molly and Mack and River City. Tam Dean Burn (Councillor Begg) is a well-known Scottish actor whose recent screen work includes Annika, Victim and Trust Me. Ali Watt (Inspector Hay) has most recently been seen on television in Irvine Welsh’s Crime and onstage at Pitlochry Festival Theatre in several productions including About Love. Scott Miller’s (Tennant) most recent credits include feature film The Road Dance and the tour of Warhorse and The Wife of Willesden at the Kiln Theatre, London, Caroline Deyga (Mabel) has most recently been seen on stage in The Importance of Being Earnest and with the National Theatre in Peter Gynt. She appeared in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour for the National Theatre of Scotland.
A gothic tale of double lives and inner demons
Hope Dickson Leach is an award-winning film maker, based in Edinburgh, whose debut film, The Levelling won her a Scottish BAFTA and the inaugural IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI.
Hope Dickson Leach first worked with the National Theatre of Scotland during lockdown in August 2020, when she made Ghost Light, a love letter to Scottish theatre, for digital platforms, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival’s My Light Shines On festival. Following on from this collaboration and with lockdown continuing to affect live performance, Hope began to develop this theatre/film hybrid version of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, for National Theatre of Scotland and Selkie Productions (who also worked on Ghost Light) with the project going on to receive support from Screen Scotland and Sky Arts.
Leith Theatre offers the perfect backdrop to film. The venue’s historic backstage maze of rooms and hallways and outside facades were transformed into film set location scenes of Victorian Edinburgh. Other scenes were filmed on location around Edinburgh.
Leith Theatre is a legendary music venue, performance space and community resource in the heart of Leith, which was a gift from the City of Edinburgh in the 1920s. Its main auditorium has played host to sporting events, the Edinburgh International Festival and iconic artists and bands.
The very first film version of Stevenson’s novel is believed to be a 16-minute-long silent horror film of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde made in 1908, based on a stage play. Since then, there have been over 123 films made, from animation to satire to horror, with versions filmed across the world.
Screen Scotland’s support is funded through the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.
This film is part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s growing On Screen programme which includes content for digital platforms and broadcast. Recent highlights include National Theatre of Scotland and Hopscotch Film’s special filmed version of Adam commissioned for BBC Scotland and BBC which won the Audience Award for Best Film at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and Best Scripted TV in the Scottish BAFTA’s 2021.
Edinburgh based production company Selkie Productions was set up by Wendy Griffin in 2014 to develop a slate of film and TV projects. Selkie produced Hope Dickson Leach’s short Stronger is Better than Angry and Wendy Griffin was producer on Ghost Light for National Theatre of Scotland and EIF. Recently Wendy co- produced ‘The Origin’ which just premiered at LFF and was co producer on Stephen Frears ‘The Lost King’ and Charlotte Colbert’s ‘She Will’. Selkie has several projects in development with Screen Scotland and BFI.
Timeline/background | The making of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
- 2021 | Development begins for innovative project to deliver a live theatrical experience for a pandemic audience
- February 2022 | Live mixed performances at Leith Theatre and live cinema stream across UK cinemas
- October 2022 | Additional shooting of new material with cast on location in Edinburgh
- Early 2023 | Edit of live and newly filmed material, new music and sound design composed and mixed.
- August 2023 | World premiere of final feature film at Edinburgh International Film Festival
- Autumn 2023 | Selected cinema screenings and broadcast premiere of feature film on Sky Arts
Garfield Weston Foundation, Sir Ewan and Lady Brown, The Foyle Foundation, The Britford Bridge Trust, The William Syson Foundation, The Woolbeding Charity