It was murder and mayhem in the West End last night (17 April 2007) as the second of two different stage adaptations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles opened at the Duchess Theatre.

But neither competition nor first-night jitters detracted from the apparent fun for the three-strong cast in physical theatre company Peepolykus’ (pronounced people-like-us) comic version of one of the most famous Sherlock Holmes mysteries. Jason Thorpe and Peepolykus founding members Javier Marzan and John Nicholson perform all 20 roles, from Holmes (Marzan as a heavily accented Spanish detective) and Watson to Sir Henry, the last of the Baskervilles, and the villain himself – but not including the Hell Hound.

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For 1st Night Photos, our Whatsonstage.com photographer Dan Wooller was on hand with the company and director Orla O'Loughlin at The Hound of the Baskervilles post-show party at the Adam Street club.

Set largely on Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate a mysterious death involving an ancient family curse and a demonic dog. Conan Doyle’s 1905 crime novel was originally serialised in the Strand Magazine in 1901 and 1902. Peepolykus stage version, which premiered in January at Leeds’ West Yorkshire Playhouse, is adapted by Steven Canny, designed by Ti Green and presented in the West End by Sam Mendes’ company Neal Street Productions and CMP Limited.

- by Terri Paddock