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Dereham students light up the stage with outstanding Jeckyll and Hyde performance

PUBLISHED: 15:01 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 15:01 10 February 2018

Jeckyll and Hyde played by the Dereham Neatherd High School. Picture: Jon London Photography

Jeckyll and Hyde played by the Dereham Neatherd High School. Picture: Jon London Photography

Jon London Photography

A classic thriller came to Dereham this month courtesy of some of the town’s most talented pupils.

Jeckyll and Hyde played by the Dereham Neatherd High School. Picture: Jon London PhotographyJeckyll and Hyde played by the Dereham Neatherd High School. Picture: Jon London Photography

Neatherd students took to the stage at Dereham’s Memorial Hall on February 2 and 3 performing a version of the classic gothic tale, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

The team behind the production worked hard to adapt the original David Edgar novel into a script.

One of the show’s directors, Sally Sanderson, acknowledged the significant challenge that this unfamiliar dialogue presented to students, some as young as 11.

She said: “It was hard work at times, just getting the cast to understand what their characters were saying; let alone learning the lines!”

Jeckyll and Hyde played by the Dereham Neatherd High School. Picture: Jon London PhotographyJeckyll and Hyde played by the Dereham Neatherd High School. Picture: Jon London Photography

In addition to getting their heads around the challenging dialogue, the pupils only had a short period of rehearsals as they began in November, two months later than planned.

A spokesman for Neatherd High School said: “The show provided an opportunity for many familiar Neatherd actors to show their incredible talent.

“Adam Littleproud created a compelling performance of a chilling but engaging Mr Hyde; a counterpoint to the mild-mannered Dr Jekyll played by an astonishing newcomer to Neatherd drama, Bradley Dack.

“The boys worked on the representation of the split personality of Jekyll/Hyde, and at times the characters would be physically close on stage then almost tearing themselves apart with the help of a chorus of creepy gothic “shadows”, fabulous Neatherd dancers who choreographed much of their own movement.”

Jeckyll and Hyde played by the Dereham Neatherd High School. Picture: Jon London PhotographyJeckyll and Hyde played by the Dereham Neatherd High School. Picture: Jon London Photography

Other celebrated performances came from the three female leads; Pearl Williams-Eley who offered a spirited portrayal of the Katherine Jekyll, sister to Dr Henry.

Rebekah Hartley and Amelia Westgate played the sparring servants in Jekyll’s household, who the audience praised for their nuanced performance.

The spokesman continued: “Outstanding performances came too from Ben Harvey and Eddie Hill, as astonishingly talented Year 7 boys. We will surely see more of both of them in future productions.

“Cameron Biro, Miguel Corte-Real and Finley Batson also contributed to a very professional production as the remaining elderly and traumatised male characters; friends and victims of Jekyll and Hyde.”

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