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Sherlock Holmes and the Invisible Thing

“Old-fashioned and lacking in energy”

The Rudolf Steiner Theatre, situated just off Baker Street, is an appropriate home for a small-scale Sherlock Holmes drama. Take Note Theatre’s show might appeal to the Holmes tourist trade but there’s very little else to recommend it.

Greg Freeman’s story, based on the characters created by Arthur Conan Doyle, sees Holmes called in to solve a series of mysterious deaths. It’s actually not a bad yarn, incorporating piracy, prostitution and slavery, with a touch of Eastern mysticism thrown in for good measure. Freeman’s plot has promise, but the pacing is lethargic and tonally uncertain, falling somewhere between the original short stories and the melodrama of the John Barrymore movies.

Stephen Chance may look the image of Holmes but he is so dwarfed by his deerstalker and Inverness cape that it looks parodic. It doesn’t help that his dead-pan, low-energy performance doesn’t really power-up until the second half. There are some nicely earnest scenes with Imogen Smith’s enigmatic housekeeper but Freeman’s play never delves too deeply.

David Phipps-Davis’ direction is stiff and old-fashioned, and though designer Leah Sams creates a suitably gothic set on a budget, the production’s few special effects are decidedly lacklustre.

Neither a parody nor a straight drama, audiences in search of either will be sorely disappointed.

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Production Details
Production nameSherlock Holmes and the Invisible Thing
VenueRudolf Steiner Theatre
StartsJuly 17, 2019
EndsAugust 18, 2019
Running time2hrs
AuthorGreg Freeman
DirectorDavid Phipps-Davis
Set designerLeah Sams
Costume designerLeah Sams
Lighting designerLuke M Francis
Sound designerTom Huxley
CastStephen Chance, Doug Cooper, Imogen Smith, Philip Mansfield, Vanessa-Faye Stanley
Stage managerVerena Prandstaetter
ProducerTake Note Theatre
VerdictStiff and old-fashioned Sherlock Holmes adaptation that’s distinctly lacking in dramatic energy
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Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

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