Meet Jack Bannell04 Aug 2017, Posted by Latest3 in
Jack Bannell plays the dual role or Dr Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde in Blackeyed Theatre’s forthcoming UK tour. We spoke to him about his approach to the role and hopes for the production.
What are you looking forward to most about The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde?
The complexity of the character without a doubt. Every part I have ever played has been an exercise in finding the duality and inner struggle of a character. To have two conflicting emotions about the same thing is what it means to be a complicated emotional human, It’s what makes Humans so unpredictable and fascinating, and hopefully lead to dramatic choices that are not the obvious, predictable ones to make; however, rarely do you get the opportunity to take those dual emotions and polarize them into two different “people”… Or are they different people?
You’ll be playing the dual role of Jekyll/Hyde in this production. How do you approach creating characters that audiences are so familiar with?
Personally I think the only way to approach a well-known character is to pretend they are not well known. Much like approaching a well-known Shakespeare monologue, If you let the gravity of “to be or not to be” or “I know a bank where the wild time blows” get to you, you can double guess yourself, over complicate everything and end up in a right mess. All characters are a person, in a situation, trying to achieve something…if they are famous or not.
What do you hope audiences will take from seeing the show?
I think the job of theatre is to make people think about what it is to be human and how we treat each other. This fantastic adaptation is crammed full of questions: What is it to struggle with two sides of your own brain? How responsible are you for your actions if you don’t feel like yourself as your doing them? How far can you justify inflicting harm on a few in order to benefit the many? As long as the audience walk away knowing a bit more about how they feel about any of the issues in this play I’ll be very happy.
Which places on the tour do you have links with?
Well from the dates of the first half of the tour, Didcot is very close to where I was brought up and still live, and my mum and dad are originally both from the Portsmouth area.
Jack trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
His theatre credits include Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Watch Your Head), Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Dr Pinch in The Comedy of Errors, Henry Percy in Richard II and Richmond in Richard III (Tobacco Factory), Proculeius in Antony And Cleopatra (Chichester Festival Theatre), Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Slender in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Ben Budge in Beggar’s Opera (Regents Park), John Proctor in The Crucible (Bristol Old Vic) & Don John in Much Ado About Nothing (Vienna’s English Theatre).
His television credits include Franklin in Upstairs Downstairs (BBC).