Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

The Adelaide Rep’s first offering for 2024 at their home of the Art’s Theatre is Baskerville -A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. Written by Ken Ludwig, it is based on the story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Geoff Brittain directs the production, which is ably assisted by Olivia Jane Parker.

The cast consists of Andrew Horwood as Sherlock Holmes and Sam Wiseman as John Watson. These are supported by Anita Zamberlan Canala, Thomas Midena, and Kim Clark, who play the remaining characters who have to fill a whopping 35 roles.

As you can imagine, with the cast playing so many roles, numerous costume changes take place, including several on stage. What a challenge for all involved! The costumes were all created by the surely overworked Gillian Cordell and were suitable for the type of production and in keeping with the period.

The set, designed by director Geoff Brittian, is nice and simplified. A screen projection dominates, making it effortless to create the atmosphere for a wide variety of scenes and locations. The lighting design by Richard Parkhill accomplishes its job and lends strength to the various scenes, assisting in generating a variety of moods.

The audio design for the show was very neat and clever, with Michael Diakomichali designing and performing the audio live. This turned out to be a great asset to the show, with a live soundtrack that included some slightly recognisable pieces as well as original pieces. The timing of the cues was spot on.

The play flows well, partly due to the simple set design, comprising a few scenic trucks and a projection screen. This made it easy for the action to flow smoothly. As often is the case with big sets, scene changes can take time, but here, we can see the economy of set design complimenting the pace of the story. With clever scene changes, we move from 221b Baker Street to the estate of the Baskervilles on the Moors in an instant.

Being opening night, there were a few moments when the pace seemed to drop. This play needs power to keep the gags rolling, but the cast will undoubtedly become slicker with each performance.

There were many funny moments, which the audience lapped up. Geoff Brittain has schooled his cast well to get every laugh out of the script. The cast does a wonderful job on stage, knowing when to hold for the laugh. Occasionally, they miss the light, but that can be put down to an opening night technicality.

This was an enjoyable play with plenty of laughs and entertainment that made the trip to the theatre worthwhile. So scurry along to get your fix Sherlock Holmes fix before the season ends on April 6th.

This review also appears on It’s On The House. Check out more reviews at Whats The Show to see what else is on in your town.

Photos by Richard Parkhill.

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