Monday, August 10, 2015

No Shit, Sherlock!

The Hound Of The Baskervilles is probably the most famous Sherlock Holmes story. If you don’t know the story, well, see, there’s this dog, right…oh, go and read it! This version (for there are many) is a new adaptation for the stage by Clive Francis.

First, of course, there is the important question of where to go for dinner beforehand. Last week, those good chaps at Logan Brown emailed me with a  special pre-theatre bistro offer…but sadly, that was last week, and this week no such offer was forthcoming. So I abandoned my Logan Brown-ward thoughts and consulted my Entertainment Book for inspiration. We decided to visit Hummingbird on Courtenay Place as we’ve not been there in a while and it looks like they’ve got a revamped menu.  

This adaptation is for four actors, all of whom play Dr. Watson, and share the rest of the parts between them. So, for example, when only Watson and Holmes are in a scene, there are in fact three Dr. Watsons on stage, sometimes sharing the dialogue, sometimes doing it all together. Then one of them will nip offstage to do a costume change to become another character – Mrs. Hudson, say, or Barrymore the butler. All of them got the opportunity to play one of the female characters, with slightly disconcerting results!

Another aspect of the production is the back projection, which, as well as being used for scene changes, provides the animation of the hound itself, with blazing eyes and mouth.

The story is pretty faithful to the original, with boot thefts, beards and escaped convicts on the moors.

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