THE HOUNDS OF THE BASKERVILLES
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by Steven Canny & John Nicholson.
Jermyn Street Theatre, 16b Jermyn Street, London SW1Y 6ST to 13 January 2017.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm but not Mon 18 Dec. Mat 3pm on 16, 17, 19 & 20 Dec and 11 & 13 Jan.
Runs 2 hr One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7287 2875
Review: William Russell 13 December.
A Christmas cracker of a show.
Arguably the biggest collection of old gags with whiskers longer than those sported by Father Christmas, director Lotte Wakeham has taken Canny and Nicholson’s script, given it the necessary zest and, helped by three very funny chaps, come up with a hilarious concoction which will dispel any winter blues. The Hound of the, Conan Doyle’s best known novel, is ripe for being sent up, and duly gets sent sky high as all sorts of dreadful things happen when Holmes, the suave Max Hutchinson, who also plays the female love interest, and Watson, the rugged Simon Kane, who only gets to also play a yokel, set off to solve the goings on down on darkest Dartmoor.
They duly rescue the Baskerville heir, Sir Henry, Shaun Chambers sporting a natty head of raven curls, from being murdered by the mysterious hound which had put paid to his uncle, Sir Charles. Chambers, who displays a natty calf and an ability to run very fast out one door and in the other, plays both of Baskervilles and excuses the fact that Sir Henry may be a Canadian but does not sound like one on the grounds that he cannot do the accent.
There is no point in spoiling the jokes be revealing any more. They are all old friends. But this trio of players, unabashed by their antiquity, deliver them with endless enthusiasm and only the slightest hint of shame. There is a lovely new gag, however, when they complain at the start of Act two that somebody had tweeted in the interval and insist on doing Act one all over again at top speed. Actually doing that is not new. It is the twitter excuse that is. Sir Henry survives, gets his true love, and a good time has been had by one and all. There is also a splendid fireplace which rushes on and off as if by magic for people to lean against. It is that sort of evening. Great.
I said the jokes were old.
Sir Charles Baskerville, Sir Henry Baskerville, Dr Mortimer, Cabbie, Yokel 2 & Wise Yokel: Shaun Chambers.
Holmes, Stapleton, Cecille Stapleton, Mr Barrymore, Mrs Barrymore, Yokel 3: Max Hutchinson.
Watson, Yokel 1: Simon Kane.
Director: Lotte Wakeham.
Set Designer: Louie Whitemore.
Costume Designer & Original Set Designer: David Woodhead.
Lighting Designer: Derek Anderson.
Sound Designer: Andy Graham.
Assistant Director: Tom McClane.