Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

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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Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act

Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act

I love Fringe time – Adelaide comes alive for Mad-March, which starts in February. There are so many shows, many returning favourites, and hundreds of new favourites, such as Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act, waiting to be discovered.

Nestled on page 147 of 168 of The Guide between the hundreds (more than 1300 actually) of Fringe shows is Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act. Hubby Barry and I head to one of Adelaide’s old buildings, now a boutique venue for performing artists.

We are directed around the back to almost a mysterious secret entrance to “Studio 166” from the rear of the old theatre, originally the Goodwood Institute built-in 1887. We are filed past a surprisingly well-stocked bar into an extremely small theatre of just four rows, seating approximately 50 patrons. There’s not a spare seat in the house.

Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act

Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act is performed by Nigel Miles-Thomas, written by David Stuart Davies and directed by award-winning Gareth Armstrong. Being a newcomer to Sherlock Holmes, I wasn’t sure how much was actual Sherlock Holmes fact and how much was created by the writer, but it didn’t matter. Much of the time, if ever in doubt as to what was going on one minute, it was always made clear in the next.

Nigel Miles-Thomas is an amazingly talented actor who spoke the 65-minute monologue nonstop, not a stumble, not a misstep and held character the entire time; in fact, he apparently had multiple characters, 14 in total.

Father of five and I, husband Barry, are not theatre buffs by any stretch of the imagination; in fact, you more likely find us in the mosh pit at the front of a rock concert like The Angels or The Screaming Jets., therefore my thoughts are from an utterly naïve perspective.

In fact, the reviews from people who know theatre a hell of a lot better than I was so glowing I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it. But I must say Nigel Miles-Thomas grabbed my attention from the moment he walked out onto the sparsely decorated stage, and I did not take my eyes off him for the next hour.

Nigel has had an extensive career spanning five decades. He has worked with Steven Berkoff and performed a leading role in London’s West End and many of the regional theatres in the UK. Nigel has performed internationally in the USA, Europe and Asia. He is well known for his appearances in Doctor Who and many other popular UK programmes.

Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act

The story, not to spoil anything, is written to reveal the man behind the myth and expose the great detective’s fears and weaknesses, the devastating consequences of the dramas of his formative years, and, unexpectedly, his cutting sense of humour.

Fringe time is the perfect time to go out and see something new or try something different, and even if you’re usually an anti-theatre buff, I can recommend this one. You’ll thoroughly enjoy it as we did.

Remember to get out when you can, support local talent, and I’ll see you down the front!!

This review also appears on It’s On The House, and check out more reviews at Dark Stories Theatre to see what else is on in your town.

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