Original Theatre Company and Octagon Theatre Bolton present The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conon Doyle at Theatr Clwyd.
Sherlock Holmes is on the case to figure out the mystery of the Baskerville deaths and to try and break the chain to keep Sir Henry alive. But this is not your ordinary Sherlock Holmes story. This is done with a very clever and extremely funny twist. That being, there are only three cast members who play every part in the play. We realised very early on that we were in for something different when the cast broke the fourth wall pretty much straight away, talking to the audience and explaining part of the plot but many twists and turns were a complete surprise that kept the evening very entertaining.
The cast were made up of Jake Ferretti as Holmes, Serena Manteghi as Sir Henry and Niall Ransome as Dr Watson. Between them they also played around 15 characters, all completely different, with different costumes for the most and completely different accents. The group of actors worked so hard and delivered a fantastic show. With rapid costume changes, choreographed to perfection and a simple set which the cast also moved on and off, you at times forgot there were only three of them on stage.
The set, designed by David Woodhead, was cleverly used and pieces easily changed from one thing to another, with a little imagination, from a desk to a sauna, a train and even a cab. Personal props played a huge part in the piece, and they were managed very well, worked between the three to bring objects to life such as a window and portraits.
Manteghi jumped from character to character with such ease that you would at times believe it was a different actor playing these parts. Ferretti was hilarious in every role, adding humour to each character and the speed he moved at times to change costumes was a force to be reckoned with. Ransome was wonderful as Dr Watson and brought some heart to the character.
As well as the set they used, there was static pieces above of the moors with a model mansion that added to the story, tying in with imagination to create a full story.
The UK tour is directed by Tim Jackson assisted by Francesca Tennant and they worked so well to direct what must be a very tough piece, physically, to work with, ensuring everyone is going to the correct place off stage to change costume or bring in set pieces but it was done with ease. Lighting by Derek Anderson was used extremely well working hand in hand with the basic set pieces to create rooms and add atmosphere to the piece. Andy Graham has designed some fantastic sound to add depth to the piece but also elevate the humour.
There were a couple of moments where the pace was a little slow but the scene at the beginning of act two makes light of this with a skit at audience members and us reliving act one again but in a fast paced, humour filled way.
A fast, funny evening of entertainment by an incredibly talented cast.
If you are looking for something to make you laugh and entertain then get along to Theatr Clwyd and see The Hound of the Baskervilles. Running until Saturday 25th September 2021. https://www.theatrclwyd.com/event/the-hound-of-the-baskervilles
Reviewer: Damian Riverol
Reviewed: 21st September 2021
North West End UK Rating: ★★★★