Yvonne Arnaud – until 23rd June
Review by Heather Chalkley
The concept of Holmes and Watson returning from retirement is intriguing in itself. In classic Doyle style, Simon Reade starts with a murder. The uncomfortableness of the relationship between Holmes and Mr and Mrs Watson is well portrayed. Without spoiling it for any new audience, Reade’s twist in the tail is genius and well within the realms of Arthur Conan Doyle.
Robert Powell (Sherlock) and Liza Goddard (Mary Watson) did not disappoint with their fluid delivery of a deliciously rich and full dialogue. Powell captured the eccentricity of a bored and paranoid Sherlock. Goddard delivered a strong and believable Mary, taking her character to another, slightly unhinged level that Doyle did not quite reach in his original writings.
Powell and Goddard are supported by a strong cast. Timothy Kightley’s Dr Watson is an affable old man, suffering from the death of his son. He is caught up in the new age of the paranormal and psychoanalysis, vulnerable and easily duped by their adversary.
Anna O’Grady (Miss Hudson/Rose) instilled some much needed light and youthful humour into the mix, reminding us of the 1920’s era into which the play is set. The strong accents of her two characters are delivered eloquently.
Directory David Grindley and his creative team did a fantastic job of providing an authentic set, with mostly smooth transitions using curtains to slide effortlessly from one scene to the next. The use of curtains builds on an atmosphere of dark secrets.
Grindley has made full use of the stellar cast he has to work with, delivering a piece that Doyle himself would be proud of.