The Hound of the Baskervilles

Date 30th April 2022
Society Swanmore Amateur Dramatic Society
Venue Swanmore Village Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Danny Jeffs

Report

Author: Nadine Darnley de Salis

I was welcomed warmly by the Swanmore Amateur Dramatic Society, who returned to their home after the enforced break with a play which they had started to plan before the unexpected two year hiatus. It was the directorial debut for Danny Jeffs, and he can be proud of what he and SADs achieved.

All members of the cast gave convincing performances and had clearly put considerable thought and effort into the preparation for the show.  The considerable and complex dialogue was performed almost flawlessly to a sell-out audience, whose reactions to the twists and turns of the plot showed that they were engrossed in the show. The considerable work that had been undertaken by each actor paid off.

Mike Rich as Dr Watson and Mike Clay as Sir Henry Baskeville were on stage for almost all of the play and worked well together, both giving convincing performances, with an interaction that carried the story forward. Zak Norris impressed in his portrayal of Mortimer. Taking on the iconic role of Sherlock Holmes is never an easy task but Roger Minors stepped up to the task and succeeded. Rob Stead and Lesley Preedy were convincing in their roles as Mr and Mrs Barrymore, the longtime domestic help of the Baskerville clan. Roy Phillips and Karen Garside gave dramatic performances as Mr and Mrs Stapleton. Shuna Rose as Mrs Frankland and Ria Wilson as Laura Lyons also gave strong performances, which added to the overall success of the play. A little comedy was added by Brenda Lambert, playing the maid, as she cleared away the glasses after each scene.

An immense amount of work had been put into the creation of the set, with the attention to detail paying off. It had the appearance of a permanent room on stage rather than a set which would be dismantled at the conclusion of the show. Good use was made of the area in front of the stage which was used as the moors. This avoided any need to create them on the stage itself. The good use of sound effects added to the atmosphere, as did the lighting. Considerable thought had been given to the costumes worn by all characters and the overall look was very impressive.

The attention to detail by Danny Jeffs in bringing this Arthur Conan Doyle story to the stage in Swanmore was evidenced by the quality of every aspect of this performance.