Four of Swords Theatre presents Jekyll & Hyde at Poltimore House.
PUBLISHED: 16:47 04 September 2013 | UPDATED: 16:47 04 September 2013
PRESS RELEASE: Horror Classic Returns to Poltimore House in October
This October a chilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic horror tale returns to Poltimore House on the outskirts of Exeter. Preview performances in May sold out and won praise for the show’s innovative use of the dilapidated and creepy location.
Jekyll & Hyde, performed by Exeter-based Four of Swords Theatre, runs for 12 performances from 10th - 19th October and tickets are available now from 01392 248938 and www.four-of-swords.com
Poltimore House is a crumbling but stunning stately home, originally the residence of the Bampfylde family. In the Twentieth Century it became a school and then a hospital before falling into a state of chronic disrepair, suffering arson and extensive looting. The interiors are gutted, skeletal echoes of their former magnificence. The perfect venue for the staging of a Gothic classic.
Simon Tootell, Visitor Services Manager at Poltimore, explains, “The production of Jekyll and Hyde brings an opportunity for the derelict fabric of Poltimore House to again play a unique role in what has already been one of the most successful productions ever staged on site. The audience feedback from the previews in May was spectacular.”
Audiences for Jekyll and Hyde are led through various rooms of the house whilst the story unfolds around them. Of particular interest is the surgery, preserved since Poltimore’s tenure as a hospital, and which now becomes Dr Jekyll’s laboratory. As well as the actors’ live performance, the vast white walls of the house are used to project short films which complement the action.
Co-producer and director Sarah White says: “We’ve designed a show which is faithful to the source material but inventive and eclectic. For example, we shot short films which help move the action on using the same actors, and the show itself has some bloody special effect and make-up designs inspired by Japanese kabuki theatre. A gypsy folk band provides live musical accompaniment.”
Philip Kingslan John, Sarah’s co-producer who also stars in the twin roles of Jekyll and Hyde, agrees: “The intimate nature of each performance is crucial to its success. For this reason, audience numbers are deliberately kept small.”
Poltimore House was saved from destruction in 2000 by English Heritage and East Devon District Council, and was a finalist in the 2003 BBC television series “Restoration”. Its renovation is now being coordinated by the Poltimore House Trust. A percentage of the money raised by tickets sales for Jekyll and Hyde will go towards the advancement of this project.
Tickets are on sale now, and advanced booking is recommended due to the limited size of each audience. Warm jumpers, coats and sturdy footwear are also strongly advised. The show has been deemed slightly too spooky for those under the age of 11!
28th August 2013