Set largely on Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson investigate a mysterious death involving an ancient family curse and a demonic dog. In Steven Canny’s new creation for physical theatre company Peepolykus (pronounced people-like-us), three actors – Jason Thorpe and Peepolykus founding members Javier Marzan and John Nicholson - perform all 20 roles, from Holmes and Watson to Sir Henry, the last of the Baskervilles, and the villain himself – but not including the Hell Hound.
Peepolykus’ The Hound of the Baskervilles opened in January 2007 at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds, where it had a month’s sell-out run, and then toured to Liverpool, Winchester, Watford and Oxford. It’s directed by Orla O’Loughlin and designed by Ti Green, with lighting by Jackie Shemesh and sound by Mic Pool. The comedy is presented by Sam Mendes’ company Neal Street Productions and CMP Limited.
First night critics welcomed another comedy in the West End, though they disagreed about the quantity and quality of laughs generated by this latest Conan Doyle send-up. Comparisons were inevitably drawn between it and Patrick Barlow’s comic take on John Buchan’s The 39 Steps, the West End’s other current low-budget page-to-stage thriller in which four actors play myriad parts, with most critics preferring the earlier arrival. However, all appreciated various touches in Peepolykus’ zany offering, from mire-set sight gags to fast-forward plot recaps and the novelty of a, heavily accented, Spanish Holmes.
- by Terri Paddock
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