The Yvonnne Arnaud Theatre’s latest offering – The Secret of Sherlock Holmes – is very timely given the current furore surrounding the former Surrey home of Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Even actor and commentator Stephen Fry has joined the campaign to save Doyle’s Grade II-listed disused Victorian house in Hindhead.
But back to the play.
With only two cast members and a tight timeframe, The Secret of Sherlock Holmes is ambitious to say the least. However, strong performances from acting greats Peter Egan (Sherlock Holmes) and Philip Franks (Dr Watson) and fast-paced direction from Robin Herford (of West End The Woman in Black fame) means it works very well indeed.
In a little over an hour the audience is taken through a period of around ten years involving courtship, marriage, deaths, globetrotting, several changes in career direction and then finally the cementing of an already established and trusted friendship between the extraordinary Holmes and the ordinary Watson.
Egan and Franks play their parts to perfection and Herford produces some very dark and haunting scenes. The cloaked and shadowy Moriarty (or is it Holmes…) is so imposing and eerie I even caught myself surreptitiously looking behind my seat!
For me the only downside is a grey-haired Holmes. As a fan of the 1980s series in which Jeremy Brett gave an excellent if not rather sinister portrayal of the great detective, slicked back jet black hair really is the only option.
The Secret of Sherlock Holmes is showing until this Saturday, 20 March, at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. For more information http://www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk/
Member since: 27th June 2012
Claire Dee is a freelance communications consultant running her own business near Guildford. Claire can help with all your communications needs: writing, editing, journalism, media relations, training....