Sherlock Holmes and the Invisible Thing at the Tabard Theatre
Adapting Sherlock Holmes is always going to be a difficult task but devising a mystery of your own creation for him to solve is somewhat harder. Yet playwright/director duo Greg Freeman and Ken McClymont have conquered this task with their new play Sherlock Holmes and the Invisible Thing, a witty and original take on literature’s greatest sleuth sensation.
The Tabard Theatre is a seemingly apt choice for Freeman’s play: an old, slightly worn theatre with red velvet seating and an accompanying barrel organ that really sets the scene. The room itself has an elusive atmosphere with the misty lighting and artificial fog already displacing you from the reality of the modern day. There’s tension in the air and it’s ever-building.
The story itself is both interesting and unique, yet the personalities and characteristics remain true to the original stories. Alex Mann plays the role of Holmes with finesse, pairing the stubborn and arrogant protagonist alongside Richard Fish, the cool and collected, though slightly quirky, Dr Watson. The two have such a chemistry that it electrifies the room, generating laughs and smiles across the audience. The rest of the small but capable cast play their roles superbly, with Dan Maclane standing out particularly as Inspector Peacock, who one could liken to a cookie version of Lestrade.
Whilst the show is a wonderful mix of both farce and mystery, it does sometimes border on the ridiculous with pantomime humour and over-the-top acting. The final conundrum is also relatively far-fetched, but with any form of art one must suspend their disbelief to be able to enjoy something truly innovative. This being said, there are moments that are particularly jarring to the ongoing narrative but these are easily forgiven as the rest of the script is raucously entertaining.
With fantastic acting, direction and set in a glorious theatre, make sure not to miss this wonderful play.
Sherlock Holmes and the Invisible Thing is on at the Tabard Theatre from 7th June until 16th July, for further information or to book visit here.