THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson.
Queen’s Theatre Billet Lane RM11 1QT To 17 November 2012.
Tue-Sat 8pm Mat 1, 10 Nov 2.30pm.
Audio-described/BSL Signed 10 Nov 2.30pm.
Runs 2hr One interval.
TICKETS: 01708 443333.
Review: Timothy Ramsden 30 October.
Comedy crime time at the Queen’s.
Look, Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles – in Hornchurch.
Well spotted, Watson.
Why, Holmes? Why?
Elementary. See this cast-list?
Four people. Cheap to produce. But, why now?
Consult the calendar, my good friend.
Dark months when minds turn to criminal matters.
Even so – there’s little beside a mobile door to fill the Queen’s large stage.
I’ve known devilish things done with mobile doors. But there is more. Look.
Three actors on chairs create the effect of movement. Add an image of a receding street and you have –
A car chase!
See these coconut halves. Think period.
A hansom-cab chase!
To the point as ever, Watson. And imagine how images might present Dartmoor’s bleakness, Baskerville Hall’s gothic splendours.
It’s a plot, Holmes.
No; just the setting. The actors tell the plot.
With a pianist.
Still, two hours is a long time to maintain the tension.
See here, Watson. And here.
Good lord, Holmes. Humour!
Steven Canny and John Nicholson come from those acknowledged perpetrators of theatrical comedy, Peepolykus.
But their humour’s based on actors’ personalities. How can a random repertory company re-create that?
Are they random? Remember; this is the Queen’s. Think, man; cut to –
The chase. Of course. A close-knit company used to playing with each other.
So to speak. Certainly well able to handle disruptions such as this.
A mobile ‘phone?
Upon which Jonathan Markwood’s Holmes finds an insulting tweet. Leading to a high-speed replay of the entire first act.
We’ve seen that before, Holmes.
Though never, I think, with actors’ doubling and outlandish disguises, originally carefully presented, thrown into such comic confusion.
But, with such a high point as act two starts, is there room for Markwood, Simon Jessop as a Watson almost – I may say – as loyal, sensible and honest as the real thing – and Greg Last’s vulnerable Baskerville to create an ultimate climax?
I see the masterminding hand of that Napoleon of such theatre, Bob Carlton. And, you’re forgetting one character, Watson.
The Hound itself.
You mean it actually appears Holmes?
See for yourself, Watson. See for yourself.
Sherlock Holmes: Jonathan Markwood.
Dr Watson: Simon Jessop.
Sir Henry Baskerville: Steven Marwick.
Director: Bob Carlton.
Designer: Norman Coates.
Lighting: Christopher Howcroft.