Exclusive:Forbes Masson to swap Victor & Barry for Jekyll & Hyde in Edinburgh
He made his name at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as one half of the hit comedy cabaret duo Victor & Barry with Alan Cumming.
Now Forbes Masson is to return to the stage in the Scottish capital to bring one of Robert Louis Stevenson's best-known stories to life.
Masson, who was born in Falkirk and met Cumming at drama school in Glasgow, is to star in a new solo show based on Stevenson’s gothic horror story The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
One of Scotland's leading playwrights, Gary McNair, who toured the country earlier this year with a solo show paying tribute to Sir Billy Connolly, has written the new play, entitled Jekyll & Hyde, which will run at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in January.
Masson will be starring in the show ahead of the launch of a new musical version of The High Life, the BBC sitcom about a fictional Scottish airline he starred in with Cumming in the mid-1990s.
The Lyceum says its new stage show will turn Stevenson’s classic story “on its head by revealing the depths of one man's psyche and the lengths we will go to hide our deepest secrets”.
The Lyceum, which will also be launching a new production of The Snow Queen by writer Morna Young next month. The venue has billed Jekyll & Hyde as “the perfect palette cleanser after the festive season” and an “epic wintry story”.
Masson will be returning to the Lyceum stage for the first time in 20 years ahead of the 40th anniversary of the first appearance at the Fringe of Victor & Barry, the double act he formed with Cumming at the-then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow.
The pair, who are due to publish Kelvinside Compendium, a new book celebrating 40 years of Victor & Barry in 2024, recently reunited for their first joint TV interview for 17 years to recall their long writing and performing partnership.
Masson's other screen roles have included The Crown, EastEnders, Shetland, Red Dwarf, Hamish Macbeth, Catastrophe, Crime and The Road Dance.
Masson, who lives in London, said: "I’m really excited to be coming back to the Lyceum again. It will be the first time I have appeared there in over 20 years. It’s great to be working with the brilliant director Michael Fentiman once more.
"The last play I did at the Lyceum was The Breathing House by Peter Arnott and directed by Kenny Ireland, back in 2003. I can’t wait to get started on Gary McNair’s thrilling version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s gothic classic."
McNair said: “It’s a real dream come true for me to have a show at the Lyceum Forbes is one of those people that I have often dreamed about doing one of my things. Interestingly, the first time I ever went to the Lyceum was to see Forbes in The Breathing House 20 years ago and he really wowed me on stage.
“That was my first experience of the Lyceum, and I’ve always wanted to do something there. It’s a particular delight that it’s worked out that Forbes is now going to be the one saying my words on that stage for the first time.
“Bringing Jekyll & Hyde to that theatre is a really special honour as well. I’m completely over the moon with so many aspects of it.”
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