After his 2013 success with his adaptation of ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’, Mark Jones (artistic chairman of CADOS) has brought another pastiche of Sherlock Holmes to the stage, but this time using his own words and plot.
Dave Reid and Siobhan Edge once again steal the show, reprising their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Mrs Hudson, while Kath Townsend returns as Inspector Lestrade (‘the lesbian detective’).
First and foremost, the play is a comedy rather than a thriller; indeed the opening scene was reminiscent of ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’, Mrs Hudson’s cutting remarks being the perfect foil for Holmes’ sardonic humour.
In its later stages, however, it turned into a philosophical discussion between Holmes and his nemesis, Moriarty (Ashley Hambrook), as the two antagonists prepared to meet their joint doom.
Set in present times, with Holmes getting to grips with cyber-crime and Facebook, the show was full of technological tricks.
Films projected on to the stage took us through the numerous scene changes and there was no end to the sound and light effects that helped keep the action moving.
Sterling work by the backstage staff.
Occasional hits of the 1970s crop up during the action, Holmes expressing his nostalgia ‘for the old days’ as Slade’s ‘Cum on feel the noize’ boomed through the theatre.
Opening scenes featured Holmes and Mrs Hudson sparring, only to be disturbed by Holmes’s brother, Mycroft (the quietly spoken David Walker) who came to request the detective’s services to halt a threat to the Government posed by a courtesan called Irene Adler, played seductively by Zoe Jones, who had possession of a tape of stolen conversations.
Accompanied by an apprehensive Dr Watson (Danny Almond), Holmes races to the escort agency where he is met by the hostess Elena (Sara Norse showing her commendable command of dialects).
Chris Frank completed the cast doubling as a banker and an armed man
The humour was cleverly written and the show kept up the pace right until the end. Produced by Rebecca Dickinson and directed by Mark Jones, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have loved it.