Sussex Musical Theatre Society, SMuTS, will be holding auditions for their biggest production of the year this coming Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Every March, the award-winning society puts on a spectacular production at Sussex campus’ very own professional theatre, the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA). Last year, the troupe wowed sell-out audience with their high-energy yet deeply moving production of West Side Story. After initial plans to put on 1930s romantic musical Oklahoma! were met with limited enthusiasm, the society have instead opted for the musical adaption of literary classic, Robert Louis Stevenson’s, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

The gothic novella published back in 1886 follows the suddenly peculiar exploits of the respectable Dr Henry Jekyll, and his mysterious relationship with the violent and malevolent, Mr Edward Hyde. The musical adaption – simply called Jekyll & Hyde – first hit the stage in Houston, Texas back in 1990, and had a four-year run on Broadway at the end of the decade. Despite a number of US and UK tours, and another brief run at Broadway in 2013, the musical remains considerably less known than former SMuTS productions, which include Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, Guys & Dolls and Little Shop of Horrors.

The society describes the stage show as dark, reiterating many of the themes and stylistics of last year’s West Side Story. One major difference however is that while West Side Story was very dance-heavy, Jekyll & Hyde is more focused on singing. Many of the songs demand “operatic” voices, with society members’ comparing the production to Les Miserables.

Auditionees are asked to prepare one of the songs listed on SMuTS’s Facebook event and will also be expected to read one of the monologues provided upon arrival. SMuTS will also be auditioning for their Autumn term musical at the same time, and students are welcome to attend both. Band auditions for Jekyll & Hyde will be held in February.

In addition to this year’s major productions, SMuTS are keen to include as many people in the society as possible with regular socials, non-auditioned cabaret shows and a new buddy scheme, which helps new members who may feel a bit apprehensive to navigate the society and help them get settled. The first cabaret show is taking place is Room 76 on 18 and 19 October and anybody is welcome to sign up to perform their own short segment of musical theatre. It’s a great way to stay involved with theatre and show off your talents without having to commit to a large-scale production. Upcoming socials include Monday night’s screening of High School Musical and a bar crawl and karaoke night on Wednesday 4 October. You can find out more about all of these events and the auditions on their Facebook page.

Auditions will take place in Falmer House from 6pm to 9pm on the following days:

Wednesday 27 October

Thursday 28 October

Thursday 29 October

Auditionees should meet in the Common Room above reception.

Featured Image: Malcolm Tam

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Georgia Grace

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