Review: Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles, Chapterhouse Theatre Company, Framlingham Castle, Friday, July 1
- Credit: Archant
The Hound of the Baskervilles is perhaps Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous Sherlock Holmes story, with the detective and his faithful sidekick Watson investigating the supernatural hound that is tormenting the Baskerville family.
The Chapterhouse Theatre Company brought this classic tale to Framlingham Castle, on a mercifully dry evening, with the audience enjoying a picnic while watching.
This was theatre at its simplest; there were only five actors in the production with several taking on numerous roles, and two sets. Yet, as the story unfolded the audience filled in the background with their imaginations.
The story has been adapted a little from the original, particularly with the addition of more female characters, which is a welcome change for a modern audience. John Watson’s wife Mary had a key role and Henry Baskerville became Henrietta Baskerville, which in turn added a barely acknowledged romance between her and Holmes; while this was a good idea it did not always play out well, feeling slightly forced and out of character for the original Holmes.
However, the play still retained the elements which make The Hound of the Baskervilles the favourite of Conan Doyle’s stories; a classic whodunit with suspense and comedy.
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Notice particularly has to go to James Elmes who played Sherlock Holmes, he managed to bring all the brilliant yet exasperating aspects of Conan Doyle’s Holmes while also adding a touch of the suave and amusing, which seemed to be all his own.
Notice also goes to the hound itself, while not exactly the fearful beast depicted in the book, it definitely got the biggest laugh of the night.
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The setting of Framlingham Castle was somewhat fitting, it has a historic presence and the ancient walls seemed to exude an air of earthy mystery which was reflected in the play.
The Chapterhouse Theatre has a number of other productions coming up in the East Anglian area, including Peter Pan which will play at National Trust Flatford on Saturday, August 13 and at Alton Water Park on Monday, August 29.