The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde live at Leith Theatre and new feature film

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a thrilling new hybrid version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story, conceived and directed by Hope Dickson Leach, adapted from the original novella and relocated from London to Edinburgh. Presented by the National Theatre of Scotland and Selkie Productions in association with Screen Scotland and Sky Arts, this unique new retelling uses innovative theatrical and cinematic techniques to create a live filmic and theatrical experience. Entering a live filmset built within the atmospheric setting of Edinburgh’s historic Leith Theatre, audiences will witness the simultaneous creation and screening in this one-off experience.  

Following the final performance on 27 February 2022. The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde will be livestreamed to selected Scottish cinemas. The show will then be screened ‘as live’ during the week of 28 February in UK cinemas. The footage captured during the performances will subsequently be edited into a full feature film, which will be broadcast on Sky Arts in 2023.  

This will be the first livestream film, created and set in Scotland, to be seen by audiences in Scottish cinemas.  

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. This gripping new adaptation has been developed with theatre dramaturg Rosie Kellagher. 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. Bewitched by the society of Edinburgh’s rich and powerful, Utterson soon discovers that behind the glossy façade of power there is 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. 

Embracing the duality of the storyline and the period authenticity, the film will be shot in black and white. Both the film and live event will feature new electronic music by DJ and music producer Hudson Mohawke, acclaimed for his genre-smashing" creative approach. 

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. This is her second project with the Company, she also co-conceived and directed Ghost Light with National Theatre of Scotland in association with Selkie Productions. This project reunites her with Vlad Butucea, (one of the writers for the National Theatre of Scotland’s Interference project) and contributing writer on Ghost Light

Headshot of Hope Dickson Leach

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde offers audiences the opportunity to experience a film being created around them, gaining insight into the theatre and filmmaking process. Audience members will wear headsets while watching the drama unfold live on a large screen in the auditorium. 

A gothic tale of double lives and inner demons, the storyline is mirrored not only in the hybrid format of the production but in the audience experience at the venue, where they will be able to enjoy bespoke cocktails from the Jekyll and Hyde theatre bars. 

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. Currently closed to the public, audiences will have exclusive access to the main auditorium during the theatrical film event, and the venue’s historic backstage maze of rooms and hallways will be transformed into film set location scenes of Victorian Edinburgh.  

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.  

Casting for The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde will be announced in January 2022. 

Leith Theatre - photo credit Ben Glasgow

Jackie Wylie, Chief Executive and Artistic Director (NTS) said: “We are thrilled to be kicking off 2022 with The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in partnership with Selkie Productions; an ambitious retelling of Robert Louis Stevenson’s legendary novella, offering a one-off experience to audiences who can experience it being filmed in the iconic surrounds of Leith Theatre. The National Theatre of Scotland has been increasing its digital and screen presence over the last two years with a programme of unique hybrid projects created to respond to the challenging times of Covid to ensure we can continue producing thrilling theatrical works for audiences, working with the best artistic talent in Scotland and extending the number of people we can reach.  

“Conceived during lockdown as both a live experience and as a feature film, we are delighted to be working at Leith Theatre for the first time and to renew our creative relationship with the brilliant Edinburgh based Hope Dickson Leach, following the success of Ghost Light in 2020.” 

Leslie Finlay – Screen Scotland said: “This is an incredibly exciting project bringing together award-winning Scottish director Hope Dickson Leach, prolific Scottish producer Wendy Griffin and the National Theatre of Scotland.  Screen Scotland's support is enabling the production to push cinema and create a new hybrid form of storytelling, blending cinema, theatre and using innovative new technology to create a special theatrical experience for audiences to enjoy across the country.” 

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde sees National Theatre of Scotland collaborating again with Selkie Productions and producer Wendy Griffin following the success of Ghost Light.   

Screen Scotland’s support is funded through the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. 

This hybrid production is part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s growing On Screen programme which includes content for digital, broadcast and cinemas including its series of short theatrical artworks, Scenes for Survival and Ghost Light, a celebration of theatre on film which was also made by award-winning film director Hope Dickson Leach, National Theatre of Scotland and Hopscotch Film’s special filmed version of Adam commissioned for BBC Scotland and BBC Arts which tells the remarkable story of a young trans man and his struggle across genders and borders to be himself is currently freely available to watch on BBC iPlayer until early 2022. The digital production won the Audience Award for Best Film at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival earlier this year and most recently won the award for Best Scripted TV in this year’s Scottish BAFTA’s.

Live at Leith Theatre
Dates: 25 to 27 February 2022 at 7pm

Booking Information: Tickets will be available from 16 December 2021

Access: Audio described and captioned performances on Friday 25 February and BSL interpreted performance on Saturday 26 February 

27 February 2022, 7pm: “As live” stream in selected Scottish cinemas.  
Week of 28 February 2022: ‘As live’ streamed in UK cinemas.  

Scottish and UK cinemas to be announced in early 2022  

Media contacts:

Jane Hamilton – Media and Communications officer – [email protected]
M: +44 (0)7967 742491  

Emma Schad – Head of Communications – [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)227 9016   M:   +44 (0)7930 308018  

More information

The National Theatre of Scotland is dedicated to playing the great stages, arts centres, village halls, schools and site-specific locations of Scotland, the UK and internationally. As well as creating ground-breaking productions and working with the most talented theatre-makers, the National Theatre of Scotland produces significant community engagement projects, innovates digitally and works constantly to develop new talent. Central to this is finding pioneering ways to reach current and new audiences and to encourage people’s full participation in the Company’s work. With no performance building of its own, the Company works with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theatre of the highest quality. Founded in 2006, the Company, in its short life, has become a globally significant theatrical player, with an extensive repertoire of award-winning work. The National Theatre of Scotland is supported by the Scottish Government.  

Leith Theatre is a Grade II listed building in Leith undergoing transformative change towards becoming a permanent cultural venue and a home in Scotland for live music and performance. It is in need of significant repair and preservation but even so, plays an important part in Leith’s history, having seen nearly 100 years of change and now being a driver of a future cultural quarter for the area. 

  • Live in Leith™ is the new production arm of Leith Theatre bringing in-house live music and performance programming to the venue. During Covid, it was pointed to deliver a digital programme, both to shine a spotlight on break-through Scottish talent and on the venue itself during a period of darkness. 

  • It is a building with a strong musical legacy, having played host to the likes of AC/DC, Kraftwerk and Thin Lizzy during the 70s; opera, theatre, and ballet through the 60-80s with notable mention of Yukio Ninagawa’s acclaimed ‘Samurai’ Macbeth in 1985; before suffering another significant period of closure of nearly 30 years until 2016. Since 2018, 1500 capacity audiences have been back through the doors and great music has been back on the stage, including The Snuts, Young Fathers, Kae Tempest, Jarvis Cocker, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Neneh Cherry, Mogwai and many more; reigniting the need for such a mid-sized music venue in Edinburgh. 

  • Leith Theatre is part of a 1930s Art Deco complex gifted to the people of Leith by the City of Edinburgh after the amalgamation of the two in 1920. The complex includes Leith Library, the Thomas Morton Hall and a small Gatehouse. This impressive building has seen both joyous celebration and darkest moments; hit by a bomb in 1941, it took 20 years to be repaired, only to be closed again in the 80s. The Trust took over in 2016 following community campaigning to save the building from private development and are now working to secure capital investment to ensure that this glorious semi-derelict building and important cultural asset is available and protected for future generations. 

  • Leith Theatre sits in the heart of an area currently undergoing significant coastal redevelopment and regeneration. It connects the North of the city with Edinburgh’s centre and brings important cultural programme to one of Timeout’s coolest neighbourhoods in the world as well as audiences further afield; local to international being its ethos. In recent years it has shown its importance as a destination venue for live music, an increasingly sought-after filming location and an important space for community driven initiatives and wellbeing; a unique place in the City of Edinburgh combining social and cultural value of scale.  

  • Leith Theatre has offered its exciting cultural programme for 5 years on a pop-up basis, working around the many limitations the space has; for one thing, it has never been watertight during this time. However, Leith Theatre Trust are now investment ready and about to embark on a planned capital fundraising campaign for 2022. To follow its journey, support its future development and ensure the protection of this historic cultural asset you can do so here…. 

For more information about Leith Theatre visit 
To support Leith Theatre fundraising 
To speak to a member of the Leith Theatre team email: [email protected] or call 07971 965475 

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