Express & Star

Schools set to take in reimagined version of Victoria classic

A modern take on a Victorian classic gothic horror novel is being played out over the week at schools in the region.

There will be vivid imagery as part of the reimaging of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. Photo: Feruza Afewerki

The National Theatre’s nationwide schools tour of Evan Placey’s radical reimagining of Jekyll & Hyde will be seen by schools from across Wolverhampton and its surrounding areas in partnership with Wolverhampton Grand Theatre.

The production will play to school students in their school halls in a tour that sees the National Theatre and Wolverhampton Grand Theatre work together to reach school students with quality drama, without them having to leave their school premises.

Directed by Kirsty Housley, the production will be seen at four schools until March 1, playing at St. Regis Church of England Academy, Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy and the Khalsa Academy in Wolverhampton and Brownhills Ormiston Academy in Walsall

In a reimagining of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale, this production sees Victorian England merged with the modern day as it explores how the repression of female voices can be as prevalent today as it was in the 19th century.

The performances will take place at Wolverhampton schools across the week. Photo: Feruza Afewerki

Confronting contemporary social issues such as identity, online personas, culpability and the right to protest, the production aims to bring education beyond the classroom and inspire students to engage with topical issues through the arts.

Kirsty Housley, director of Jekyll & Hyde, said “Touring this show in 2022 was such a hugely important experience and I am thrilled for it to be returning for a second tour.

"To bring work directly to young people in this way feels incredibly radical right now.

"During this cost-of-living crisis, many families are struggling for essentials and a trip to the theatre is sadly a luxury many can’t afford.

"Bringing the National Theatre directly into school halls is a small way of redressing this.

"We can’t wait to share it with pupils across the country.”

Rufus Norris, director of the National Theatre, said “Theatre plays an important role in sparking discussions and developing skills that go beyond the classroom.

Wesley Bozonga performs in the National Theatre's 2024 schools tour of Jekyll & Hyde. Photo: Feruza Afewerki

"We are delighted to be bringing back the schools’ touring production of Jekyll & Hyde to even more schools across the country.

"By visiting young people in their school halls and in their local venues, we hope they will be inspired to continue exploring theatre and what their brilliant local venues have to offer.”

The cast includes Sophie Atherton, Philip Bosworth, Wesley Bozonga, Ellie Gallimore, Dan Nash, Angela Jones, Andy Sellers and Lucy Elizabeth Thorburn.

Costume and set designed by Amanda Stoodley, with lighting designer Joshua Pharo, associate lighting designer Sarah Readman, and Benjamin Grant as sound designer.

The schools tour forms part of the National Theatre’s Theatre Nation Partnerships network to grow and sustain new audiences for live theatre and create more opportunities to engage in the arts.

The National Theatre’s Learning department aims to inspire creativity and boost skills for the future workforce of the sector and build a more creative nation.

For more information about Theatre Nation Partnerships and the schools’ tour, go to

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