World premiere comes to Summerseat Players

Watson & Holmes Review

If, like me, you are a fan of the murder mystery & crime genre, then Summerseat Players production of Watson and Holmes will surely be one for you to watch. This is a two act play which takes a brief look into the lives of first the young detecting duo and then later the retired Sherlock Holmes and his former companion John Watson.

In the first act – The Abergavenny Murder, Chris Balmer plays an amiable and companionable Watson putting up in good humour with Chris Dunn’s at first bored and then, when a new case arrives, excitable Sherlock Holmes. The act progresses quickly through revelation after revelation as Holmes solves the case before him in his customary manner whilst Watson provides the necessary narrative which helps the audience keep track through the former’s lightening quick deductions. 

Mention should also go to Graham Humphreys for his subtle yet integral performance…!

Beautifully written, it was a pleasure to experience the very first stage production of Bert Coules’ short story (it was originally performed as a Radio 4 play), which is very much in keeping with Arthur Conan Doyle’s style. 

The 2nd act sees Coules adaptation of a short story from Doyle himself after Holmes has long since retired to the country and Watson goes to visit his old friend. 

The warm yet banter-filled friendship between the pair is in full evidence with Holmes having mellowed into a more amiable and playful fellow, wonderfully portrayed by Bob Howell in this story of ‘The Lion’s Mane’. Geoff Sword takes on the role of Watson in his dotage, who it seems has perhaps started to have the upper hand over Holmes as he takes his turn to solve the crime at hand. 

At times laugh out loud funny, and at other times poignant and reflective, the second act is in keeping with the first, doling out clues for the audience to follow the mystery and perhaps even (like me I’m proud to say) solve along the way!

Behind the scenes crews also deserve recognition – the production takes place in the theatre’s studio and makes good use of the space and minimal props. Lighting and stage are also used to good, yet unobtrusive effect and each of the actor’s costumes is in keeping with their character and the period. 

Ably and confidently directed by Elizabeth Dunn, this play is a charming piece of theatre and to say you shouldn’t miss out is, well, elementary my dears!  There’s just a few tickets left for Thursday – get them soon!

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