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Sherlock Holmes centred around a case for the master sleuth, and provided Chloe White with a good vehicle for her directorial debut.
For me, it seemed overlong and too concentrated, which meant the attention wandered at times, a few judicial cuts would have upped the pace and made it more snappy.
The set was good, and the set changes very slick, with good attention to detail. I thought the lighting design from Paul Horsler was good throughout, creating some interesting effects. Lighting was very atmospheric, I liked the effect of the characters shadows creating an almost eerie effect in places.
There were some very good performances from an accomplished cast, which helped the action along.
I particularly liked Tracey Chatterley – she had to cover a number of different portrayals within her character of Madge Larrabee, all of which were very good. I appreciated the quick changes, which also incorporated change of hairstyle in some places, all very skilled. Tracey got good inflections within her characterisations, and managed to project even when speaking quietly – I really enjoyed her performance.
Madge’s husband Jim, was played by Adam Butcher, with his usual attention to detail in the character. However, I did feel his voice level was little too pronounced for the part and the size of the venue.
These two created a very good slightly evil partnership – and I loved the way they both kept their characters to the fore at all times, even when they were not the focus of attention – their eyes told the story. Excellent.
Anthony Bird created a very different Sherlock Holmes, which made it interesting, I felt that his portrayal showed a lighter side of Sherlock, whilst emphasising the drug habit that is often just alluded to in a lot of productions. I liked what he did with the part, even though it seemed a little strange to view him in an unusual light.
Steven Pryer again brought his experience to play with Dr Watson – and created a
fine character, a real contrast to the almost devil-
The costumes overall were very good – they looked in keeping with the times, and
were colourful without being over-
I must say that I loved the bows, so much more effective than the usual and a very good way of accomplishing them – tableaux of the linked characters, and spotlights to emphasise each individual – with the final silhouette of Holmes donning his deerstalker and putting his pipe to his mouth. It drew the evening to a very satisfactory close.
Harry Rodgers was one of several actors who played a couple of parts, he managed to get diverse characterisations, but I, and the audience enjoyed Billy, as he was a cheeky chappy with a lot of humour, which Harry is very good at!
Rory White also managed to get the diversity of his two characters, Sid the spiv and Sir Edward the refined gentleman.
I felt that Nadia McMahon-
Jessica Lacey as Alice looked lovely in her pretty white dress, and acted well. There was that little frisson of awareness between her and Sherlock, again a move away from him being almost above any normal feeling!
Iain Grant gave us a very sinister Moriarty, which created tension, and a diversity between him and the other characters – very well portrayed.
Joe Hawkins was the butler Forman, which gave him a chance to show the different sides of his character.
The other parts, as played by Sarah Benjamin, Alan Piercey and Richard Wood all added something to the proceedings, and mostly gave good performances.
Overall an interesting production, nicely accomplished by Chloe White and her well-
TADS Theatre, Toddington
review date 25th Sept 2015
Director: Chloe White