1812 Theatre Company to stage Jekyll & Hyde The Musical under Julie Lomas’s direction at Helmsley Arts Centre

Natasha Jones’s Lucy and Joe Gregory’s Jekyll/Hyde in rehearsal for 1812 Theatre Company’s Jekyll & Hyde The Musical

JULIE Lomas makes her directorial debut for the 1812 Theatre Group at the helm of the Helmsley company’s ambitious production of Jekyll & Hyde The Musical.

The resident troupe at Helmsley Arts Centre will be performing Frank Wildhorn and Leslie Bricusse’s thrilling pop score there from July 5 to 9 as part of the Meeting House Court venue’s 30th anniversary celebrations.

Julie, who has a wealth of experience directing at the The Grange Theatre, Walsall, is joined in the creative team by John Atkin, a musical director who needs no introduction to York audiences.

Julie Lomas: Directing 1812 Theatre Company for the first time

In Robert Louis Stevenson’s story, a devoted man of science, Dr Henry Jekyll, is driven to find a chemical breakthrough that can solve some of mankind’s most challenging medical dilemmas. Indeed, he is trying to discover cures for what now would be recognised as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Rebuffed by the powers that be, he decides to make himself the subject of his own experimental treatments, accidentally unleashing his inner demons along with the man the world would come to know as Mr Hyde.

Wildhorn’s soaring melodies offer wonderful opportunities for the performers to showcase their abilities. The two leading ladies each have their showstopping moments, but for the actor playing Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, the role is a breath-taking tour de force.

Sarah Barker and Esme Schofield rehearsing a scene from Jekyll And Hyde The Musical

Enter Joe Gregory, a talented musician and experienced actor, who is a stalwart of 1812’s pantomimes and latterly has appeared in Martin Vander Weyer’s Helmsley’s Whole History, Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends and David Tristram’s Going Green.

Joe will be playing opposite his wife, Amy Gregory, here cast as Jekyll’s fiancée, Emma Danvers. Amy is a “graduate” of the 1812 Youth Theatre, run by Natasha Jones, who will play Lucy, the other woman in Jekyll’s life.

Seven cast members are drawn from the youth theatre ranks, bringing their energy and skills to Julie’s production, which is sponsored by the Yorkshire Future Music Fund and Gillham Charitable Fund.

Amy Gregory’s Emma Carew in the rehearsal room

The full cast will be: Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde, Joe Gregory; Emma Carew, Amy Gregory; Lucy, Natasha Jones; Utterson, John Lister; Danvers, Richard Noakes; Simon Stride, Kristian Gregory; Mrs Poole, Joanne Lister; Aunt (Brothel Madam), Sarah Barker; New Girl, Esme Schofield; Nellie (Prostitute), Sara Todd; Winnie (Prostitute) Jeanette Hambidge; Lady Beaconsfield, Sue Smith; Lady Savage, Heather Linley, and Bishop of Basingstoke, Barry Whitaker.

Further roles will be: General Glossop, Stephen Lonsdale; Sir Archibald Proops, Graham Smith; Miss Henrietta Faversham, Rosie Hayman; Jekyll’s Father, Stephen Lonsdale; Miss Louisa Pembroke, Annabelle Bridgman; Ward Orderly/Bouncer, Tom Robson, plus Dancer and Prostitute, Abigail Elliot, Millicent Neighbour, Bella Cornford, Amelia Featherstone and Charlotte Mintoft.

1812 Theatre Company in Jekyll & Hyde The Musical, Helmsley Arts Centre, July 5 to 9, 7.30pm.  Tickets: £15, under 18s, £7.50, from the arts centre or at helmsleyarts.co.uk.

Taking the chair: Barry Whitaker as the Bishop of Basingstoke