Sherlock Holmes in a Scandal in Bohemia at the Tristan Bates Theatre
A badass, all-female cast come together in the intimate space at Tristan Bates Theatre for a fresh, quirky and extremely funny take on a Sherlock Holmes mystery. Writer and Director Francesca De Sica imagines the adventures of the famous mystery-solving detective through the nonsensical playfulness of pantomime and slapstick comedy. A Scandal in Bohemia is more than mere parody, however – in a relaxed, welcoming and friendly environment, audience members are greeted with snacks and drinks as they enter. Meanwhile, the actors chatter away among themselves and occasionally with the audience, creating a warm atmosphere that feels more like a private show in which active participation is encouraged.
The story begins with Holmes (Elizabeth Appleby), Dr Watson (Francesca De Sica) and Mrs Hudson (Katharine Blackshaw) at their Baker Street home, where they bicker and taunt each other in that all-too-familiar manner which makes the characters so relatable and admirable. Enter a mysterious figure with a rather too pronounced German accent, thick goggles and a daunting black cape, who charges Holmes with the task of retrieving an incriminating photograph of him in the possession of the beautiful and suggestively scandalous Irene Adler (Princess McDonnough). The newcomer turns out to be the King of Bohemia (Laura-Jean Richardson), who is the butt of the joke shared between Holmes and Watson in which audience members can also join in.
Making use of a puppet show, a boxing match, Punch and Judy and audience participation, A Scandal in Bohemia is a Sherlock Holmes adventure with a twist that is politically up-to-date, as we are given a lesson on patriarchy, Holmes’s own mistreatment of women and the absolute negation of their agency, and even on the ridiculous reality of the current political climate. In the end, Ms Adler proves to be as adept at the game as the famous Sherlock Holmes himself.
Photo: Courtesy of Struts and Frets Theatre Company
Sherlock Holmes in a Scandal in Bohemia is at the Tristan Bates Theatre from 28th October until 2nd November 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.