The Hound of Baskervilles - UK Tour Review - Streaming Online Soon
Updated: Apr 28, 2022
‘Mr Holmes, they were footprints of a giant hound…’
With rumours of a giant murderous hound loose on the misty moors and the untimely death of Sir Charles Baskerville shrouded in mystery, Sherlock Holmes and his trusted sidekick Dr Watson are challenged to find out the truth and protect the life of Sir Henry Baskerville, the family’s last living heir, before it is too late.
In this new UK Tour, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tale of adventure, mystery, mistaken identity and intrigue has been given an ingenious twist with a massive dose of exactly what we all need after the last 20 months or so; comedy. With all of the parts played by just 3 talented performers, we are treated to a wickedly funny, fast paced farce that tells the story in a totally new way and had all ages in the audience in fits of laughter
Adapted for the stage by John Nicholson and Steven Canny for Peepolykus and produced by The Original Theatre Company and Octagon Theatre Bolton, this production stars Jake Ferretti as Sherlock Holmes (and other roles), Serena Manteghi as Sir Henry (and other roles) and Niall Ransome as Dr Watson, with all three performers making it look incredibly easy to take on such a fast paced show full of physical comedy, quick changes and action. David Woodhead’s set design is simplistic yet incredibly effective, with a door, a fireplace, a bush, and a multi-use desk enough to create grand halls, Baker Street, a steam room, a train and the moors themselves whilst leaving plenty up to the imagination of the captivated audience.
Right from the off, you are laughing as the performers break the forth wall to introduce themselves and the characters they will be playing with this audience interaction continuing throughout as we are completely drawn into the story. This breaking of the fourth wall only added to the comedy with the opening of the second act reminiscent of something Mischief Theatre would do (think The Play that Goes Wrong and the ‘Summer Once Again’ episode of the Goes Wrong Show). With suspense mostly swapped for humour, the mystery of the hound of the Baskervilles remains as thrilling as ever as we follow the larger than life characters through the twists and turns, the unanswered questions, the romance, the intrigue and the missing puzzles pieces
The small but perfectly formed cast excel in their multiple roles, with the nearly full house audience hanging on their every word. Jake Ferretti’s Sherlock Holmes is as egotistical and proud as you would expect, incredible clever when it comes to solving mysteries but not so much when it comes to sharing feelings, much to the dismay of Niall Ransome’s dotting Watson who wants nothing more than to please Sherlock and prove that he can solve the greatest of mysteries. Ferretti also plays multiple other roles, including both the Barrymore’s and both the Stapleton’s, with plenty of quick changes having the audience in stitches.
Described by Ransome in the programme as having a real puppy dog loyalty to Sherlock, it is impossible not to love Ransome’s take on the iconic character of Dr Watson. He may not be the brightest at times, but he is loyal and devoted, with a huge determination to solve the case. He gained many a laugh and many an ‘aww’ from the audience as he bonded with Manteghi’s Sir Henry whilst trying to keep the Baskerville heir safe from harm and tried to solve the case of the murderous great hound that was chasing them across the misty moors. Appearing in pretty much every seen, Ransome’s seemingly never-ending energy is the driving force of the story telling as the production becomes just as much about his attempts to please Sherlock as it is about the mystery
Serena Manteghi plays multiple parts throughout the production, including three yokels, Dr Mortimer, a London Cabbie and, of course, Sir Henry Baskerville. Showcasing a natural flair for comedy, Manteghi has the audience in the fits of the giggles from start to end. Her chemistry with Ransome’s Watson is believable and lovable as the pair bond and joke their way through the investigation.
All three cast members are natural comedians, providing a masterclass in comedic timing and physical theatre. From a sublime tango full of surprises, a hilarious scene with an over emotional Watson and a dummy and too many quick changes to count, The Hound of the Baskervilles is a must see for comedy fans of all ages.
Whilst the UK Tour of The Hound of the Baskervilles may now be over, the production was thankfully recorded and will be available to stream online from April 14 to 31 July, don't miss out! You can buy tickets to the stream here. https://originaltheatreonline.com/productions/35/the-hound-of-the-baskervilles
Images found via Google, not my own