Eddie Izzard’s Doctor Jekyll debuting at FrightFest 2023

Chris Tilly
Eddie Izzard as Doctor Jekyll.

Comedy legend Eddie Izzard is starring in a new adaptation of a classic horror tale at this year’s FrightFest, taking the title role in Doctor Jekyll.

The line-up for FrightFest 2023 has been announced, with 70 films playing across four screens over the August Bank Holiday weekend, including a fresh take on the Jekyll and Hyde story.

This years festival features 25 world premieres, 23 European premieres, and 12 UK premieres. While 14 countries are represented, as are five continents.

Those are the numbers, now here are three highlights from the forthcoming FrightFest 2023…

Eddie Izzard’s Doctor Jekyll debuting at FrightFest 2023

Eddie Izzard – the stand-up icon whose previous film credits include Ocean’s 12, Valkyrie, and The LEGO Batman movie – is premiering Doctor Jekyll at FrightFest.

A loose adaptation of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson novella, Izzard plays Nina Jekyll in the Hammer Studios production, with the official synopsis as follows:

Dr. Nina Jekyll pushed the glass ceiling of the pharmaceutical industry to its limits, rubbing shoulders with the elite, becoming a household name and making herself a fortune. But her success came at a cost, and after scandal forced her out of the spotlight she now lives in seclusion with her demons. In need of an assistant, Jekyll hires ex-con Rob, straight out of rehab and trying to get back on his feet. It soon becomes clear that there are evil forces at play and Rob’s wits are tested in a game of cat and mouse with the Devil in all its forms.

Suitable Flesh opens proceedings, while The Sacrifice Game closes the fest

Suitable Flesh is the festival’s opening film, with the programmers describing it as: “the latest shocker from FrightFest favourite Joe Lynch, who has created an outlandish love letter to the late, great Re-Animator director Stuart Gordon; a new body horror take on H.P Lovecraft-minded cosmic mayhem that’s a must-watch for fans of raunchy 80s horror.”

Heather Graham stars, while horror icon Barbara Crampton both produces and appears, and will be in attendance at the fest.

The Sacrifice Game closes the festival, with the programme notes describing it thusly: “Director Jenn Wexler’s demonically stylish second feature, following FrightFest smash The Ranger, is another wild, thrilling ride, and a tribute to the beauty and boldness of classic 1970’s horror.”

Here’s what festival co-director Alan Jones had to say about this year’s lineup: “FrightFesters will experience an amazing variety of films, in an eclectic line-up which serves as a powerful tool of democracy, activism, diversity, inclusivity and social awareness. As always, FrightFest is keen to show, through an open- minded philosophy, that the most unexpected and delightful discoveries happen when wide-ranging topics, different people, and varied cultures come together in horror harmony.”

FrightFest runs in and around London’s Leicester Square from August 24, 2023 to August 28, 2023. Passes are on sale from July 15, and single tickets on July 22. For more details, head to the official FrightFest website.

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