Hound of the Baskervilles
|Date||10th March 2017|
|Society||Rainham Theatrical Society (RTS Ltd)|
|Type of Production||Play|
Author: Gordon Harris
British playwrights Steven Canny and John Nicholson’s spoof of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles is slapstick, deliberately tacky and gloriously silly, and was acted superbly. This is the sense that comes through while watching Jo Godman’s directorial debut and what a play to start with, Jo it is exceptionally well directed superbly in fact..!!
All the characters being played by a cast of three, the action starts with the spine-tingling death of Sir Henry Baskerville (Luck Bailey), soon followed by the arrival of Sherlock Holmes (Ryan Caston) and Doctor Watson (Mike Gentry). Addressing their audience, the pair break the ice by explaining that there is no need to be frightened, this is not reality but just a stage version of the famous mystery tale in which Holmes and Watson must save the life of the last Baskerville survivor and heir to the Baskerville estate.
There follow two hours of ill-timed lines, rapid costume changes and clumsy set turn-arounds that create some truly brilliant comedy. For these three male actors, the play is a tour de force whose pace requires serious stamina. Most of the set is mounted on wheels and the 2 stage hands (Darren Hammock and Kerry Bailey) as well as acting the cast are continuously required to push a door, pull a fireplace, place a chair, whilst repeatedly going on and off stage to change a costume...in seconds.
Their performances are sublime and they seem to be having lots of fun, which is reflected in the audience’s reaction.The giddy acting was backed up by imposing sound and lighting effects (Steve and Janine Hewlett) which gave us suspense or distress.
This play was an excellent choice for these three talented actors and a fantastic directorial debut for Jo Godman, I haven’t seen a perfect comedy in years and I and my guest went away giggling to ourselves.