Review: Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain Picture: CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain Picture: CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE - Credit: CAMBRIDGE ARTS THEATRE

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain

Cambridge Arts Theatre

Until July 14

Sherlock Holmes – the world’s greatest and first consulting detective – has retired to the south coast.

And a body has been discovered on his private beach.

Sensing he is in danger, Sherlock receives a mysterious visit from Mary – estranged from her husband and Holmes’ former partner Dr John Watson.

The scene is set as Mary tells Sherlock she has seen their dead son James and he isn’t dead after all.

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Tapping into the world of the occult – which much interested Sherlock’s creator Arthur Conan-Doyle, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain, is a new play by Simon Reade.

Holmes, returns to London to meet with Dr Watson – now dabbling in the emerging field of psychoanalysis – and consults with his brother Mycroft before organising a séance to get to the bottom of the mystery.

As you might expect all is not what it seems.

But while the elements are there – plenty of quotations from the original stories, Conan-Doyle’s interest in spiritualism, a decent set and some nice comic touches, and a strong supporting cast – the play doesn’t enjoy the strongest of plots, with much of the mystery a little too inevitable and the final denouement a little too odd. Indeed, the reflective, if not slightly bizarre, final scenes are a little strange and feel like they have been tacked on to fill in a bit of time.

Nonetheless, Liza Goddard as Mary and Robert Powell as Sherlock, both highly accomplished actors, work hard to keep the thing going and make it an enjoyable piece of theatre – they largely succeed.

There are some good comic moments and the play is by no means all bad.

A half-decent show.