Category Archives: Theatre

Mischief Movie Night, New Theatre Cardiff

Starring the original cast and creators of the critically-acclaimed The Play That Goes Wrong, Mischief Movie Night is yet another improvisational show, which this time involves improvising an entire movie onstage and off the cuff.

The central conceit of the show is that we, the audience, control the performance – it’s our suggestions for genres, titles and locations that dictate what goes on onstage, and the ensemble cast must employ their considerable talents to realise the barrage of random demands yelled at them from the stalls in the moment.

I have to admit that I was rather sceptical and a little scared as I sat down to watch my very first long-form improv stage show. You see, the fear of audience participation has haunted me ever since my first traumatic pantomime experience at age 5. And yet, five minutes in to Mischief Movie Night, I was merrily shouting out genres along with the rest of the raucous audience!

The true joy of the improv show is that every performance is unique – you will quite literally never see it’s like again, because each one depends on the whim and the wants of its particular audience on a particular night. So I can’t comment on the quality of plot or characters, because they are ever-changing – but to give you a little taste of what Mischief Movie Night may entail, last night’s performance ended up being a Disney film set in Pontpandy, which featured chainsaw juggling, police propaganda and an anthropomorphic lasagne who talked like Sylvester Stallone. You know, your standard Disney fare.

It’s no wonder that Mischief Theatre has become so nationally and internationally beloved – the ensemble cast is superb across the board, catering to every silly request and daft diversion that’s demanded of them. Dave Hearn, Henry Shields, Ellie Morris and Charlie Russell were particular standouts, and Harry Kershaw was responsible for one of the show’s most hilarious running gags about not getting above your station. Jonathan Sayer gamely leads proceedings as a Gruff Rhys Jones-esque master of ceremonies in whose vast library is contained, so he says, every film ever made. Sayer guides us through the night’s entertainment, wryly commenting on the increasingly chaotic proceedings and making progressively silly demands of the cast who enthusiastically attempt to comply.

Often, these things don’t go off with the precision of a studio picture – and that’s why they are so much fun to watch. Much like Starkid – purveyors of peppy parodies about everything from Harry Potter to Pangea – the joy of Mischief Movie Night is seeing the performers tackle big ideas equipped not with fancy sets and special effects, but with skill and imagination only.  In many ways, the show possesses the same frenetic, joyful energy, cineliterate references and talented ensemble cast as Horrible Histories, a compliment I wouldn’t give lightly. And even with the random onslaught of events onstage, the team manage to bring things to a surprisingly coherent climax, in which twists are revealed and happy endings are tied up in a neat (if slightly battered) bow.

Mischief Movie Night is yet another feather in Mischief Theatre’s increasingly crowded and critically-acclaimed cap. The same creative team will be bringing The Comedy About a Bank Robbery to the New Theatre on its UK tour in the autumn, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next! Until that rolls around, do yourself a favour and see Mischief Movie Night – what could go wrong?

Review The Flop, Hijinx Theatre Company by Tafsila Khan

Director: Ben Pettit-Wade

Company: Hijinx in association with Spymonkey

Reviewer: Tafsila Khan

Following the hit Meet Fred in 2016 Hijinx introduce The Flop in association with Spymonkey.

Set in Paris in 1657 where impotence is illegal. The plays centre on Marquis de Laney and Marie Sant-Simon who despite being married for several years have yet to produce an heir. With the future of the aristocracy at stake the Marquis’s aunt and grandfather set about finding out why. What follows is a fast-paced show which is made all the more chaotic with audience participation and improvisation from the cast.

This chaotic theme extends to the stage which is a series of pink flaps where at any given time characters pop in and out from. One of the more surreal scenes is when a robot randomly appears and starts to chase the Marquis. You soon find that this is the running theme that really anything can happen and probably will.

Improvisation, effortless comedic timing, playing instruments and singing really shows the incredible abilities of the actors. The relationship between the Marquis and his manservant was reminiscent of Basil Fawlty and Manuel from Fawlty Towers.

I was lucky enough to catch the audio described preview showing at Chapter in Cardiff. The show will be officially launched at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, followed by a UK tour in the Autumn. I think this show will go down really well in the festival as it is hilarious and at times surreal, the fact that the actors don’t take themselves very seriously adds to the charm of the show. Sami Thorpe BSL interpreter and Beth House who audio described were kept on their toes with the improvisation, with both doing a sterling job. Being visually impaired I found the audio description was on point despite the fast-paced nature of the show.

Hijinx is an inclusive theatre company who make sure that at the heart of every production they include cast members with learning difficulties. with very loose French accents, big wigs, slapstick humour and adult content and black masking tape for moustaches.

The cast

Ted Lishman

Hannah Mcpake

Jess Mabel Jones

Ian Gibbons

Adam Webb

Jonathan Pugh

Review National Theatre Live: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie by Danielle O’Shea

National Theatre Live: Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

Gwyn Hall, Neath

July 5th 2018

Running time: 2 hrs 40 mins

(3 / 5)

 

There’s a reason that everybody is talking about this show and that is that it is the sort of optimism we need in these times. With sheer positivity, catchy songs and a laugh a minute, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie blew its audience away whilst not shying away from heavier topics such as divorce and bullying.

This musical tells the story of Jamie, a boy with dreams bigger than his small town, in his pursuit of a career as a drag queen and how both his friends and family support him in this endeavour.

John McCrea is a delight as Jamie however the real star of the show is Josie Walker as his mother, Margaret New, who pushed the audience to tears during the musical’s more emotional moments.

Despite this, the show seems to lose its spark and fizzle out drawing to an unsatisfactory conclusion to several storylines with the dramatic finale we dreamed of way out of sight.

To conclude, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie is a hilarious tale with a heart but it lacks polish and needs to pull up its tights and get its heels back on for the ending.

Written by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom Macrae

Directed by Jonathon Butterell

Design: Anna Fleischile (designer) Kate Prince (choreographer) Lucy Carter (lighting director) Paul Groothuis (sound designer) Luke Halls (video designer) Will Burton (casting director)

Cast: John McCrea, Josie Walker, Shobna Gulati, Tamsin Carroll, Lucie Shorthouse, Phil Nichol, Alex Anstey, James Gillian, Daniel Jacob, Ken Christiansen, Luke Baker, Courtney Bowman, Jordan Cunningham, Daniel Davids, Ryan Hughes, Harriet Payne, Shiv Rabheru, Lauran Rae and Kirstie Skivington.

Danielle O’Shea

Review Home, I’m Darling, A Theatr Clwyd/ National Theatre Co-production by Gareth Williams

(4 / 5)

Travelling along the sun-drenched roads of North Wales in the heat of an early July evening, I wondered whether it was the right time to be going to sit in a theatre. But Home, I’m Darling is worth suffering a bit of sweat for. It may have been warm in the Emlyn Williams Theatre, but that did not stop me from thoroughly enjoying Laura Wade’s brand-new play. With a sizzling set, a bunch of colourful characters, and a blooming good narrative blossoming with resonant themes, this is a must-see for the summer.

As I entered the auditorium, I gasped with amazement at the sheer size and scope of the set. To be greeted by a full scale model of a house was not what I expected. I was positively overwhelmed by the sheer level of detail in its interiors and furnishings. The work of designer Anna Fleishle and her team is nothing short of remarkable. It transports us immediately into the world of the 1950s, where we meet a “sickeningly happy” couple played by Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, Humans) and Richard Harrington (Hinterland, Lark Rise to Candleford). Parkinson plays the doting housewife to Harrington’s sporting gentleman. Set to the music of Mr Sandman, there is an air of pristine perfection about this opening scene. The song exudes a dream-like state in which these two characters exist and, indeed, as Harrington’s Johnny pops on his hat and coat, takes his lunchbox packed by Parkinson’s Judy, and kisses his wife goodbye, it all feels rather like a Sunday afternoon TV movie. So when Parkinson pulls out an iPad from a drawer, it creates a moment of dissonance that reverberates on the saccharine glass of this play’s squeaky –clean window.

Parkinson gives an accomplished performance as Judy, an idealist who delights in the idea of immersing herself in the 1950s by becoming a full-time housewife. It is not just the décor that oozes a nostalgic charm. Along with some incredibly elegant dresses, Parkinson’s slightly RP-toned accent and gliding movement paint a picture of a simple existence far removed from the complications of modern life. Judy is a woman who has chosen this life of frugality and servitude. Parkinson has her defend this choice with the kind of razor-sharp wit that is a staple of her acting persona. Even the impassioned speech of her feminist mother (Sian Thomas) seems to have little effect on her. It is a succinct and timely reminder of all that women have fought for over the past 100 years. It may not have broken through the resolute edge that Parkinson provides Judy with, but it was powerful to hear as an audience member. Such a resolute appearance is marked by an air of vulnerability however. Judy has lost herself in the pursuit of her ‘50s dream. It is left to Johnny to help her find herself again. Harrington invests warmth and loving care into his character. He could not be further removed from his troubled and brooding character in Hinterland. When he does get angry, it is a tone that will be familiar to fans of the BBC Wales crime drama. It seems that anger is what Harrington does best. Yet there is a distinctly soft side to Johnny that shows another side to Harrington’s acting ability that I’ve not seen before. It was refreshing to see, and proves his worth as one of Wales’ finest contemporary actors.

Sadly, we don’t get to see near enough of another of Wales’ finest. In my opinion, Sara Gregory is up there with Eve Myles in terms of her acting ability and characterisation. Her turn as branch manager and Johnny’s boss Alex in Home, I’m Darling is short but unsurprisingly sweet. She brings a professional charisma and expert flair to her character that makes her a formidable force for the short time she is on stage. When her, Parkinson and Harrington are together, it is one of the most electrifying scenes of the whole play. Kathryn Drysdale and Barnaby Kay complete the cast, both giving solid performances as husband and wife duo Fran and Marcus. Such is the quality of their characterisation that they could easily be the lead characters in another story. It is testament to Laura Wade’s writing that, instead, we have them occupying this space as minor, but no less significant, characters to Parkinson and Harrington’s leads.

Due to move to the National Theatre in London later this month, Home, I’m Darling is worth catching if you are in or around North East Wales. Director Tamara Harvey and her team have again excelled themselves with a production that is just as, if not even more memorable, than 2017’s Uncle Vanya. The set is certainly as iconic as the one created for Uncle Vanya, and the cast that has been assembled is again oozing with quality. Katherine Parkinson feels like she was made for the part of Judy. Richard Harrington is brilliant as her husband Johnny. Sara Gregory and the rest of the cast are given characters that could quite easily be lead parts in an alternative version of events. Massive credit must go to Laura Wade for creating such an inventive and mesmeric play. She has created something that perfectly encapsulates the zeitgeist, and that includes the weather at present. Amidst the current spell of sunny weather, it is worth venturing indoors for an evening in order to see this wonderfully colourful creation.

Click here for more info.

gareth

Gareth Williams

Review Warhorse, Wales Millennium Centre by Patrick Downes

Equine Audio Excellence  (4.5 / 5)

It seems fitting that in this year, 100 years after the end of the Great War, War Horse has gone back on tour around the UK, currently playing at Wales Millennium Centre.

Based on the 1982 book by Michael Morpurgo, it tells the story of Albert and his beloved horse, Joey. At the outbreak of WWI, Albert and Joey are forcibly parted when Albert’s father sells the horse to the British army. Against the backdrop of the Great War, Joey begins an odyssey full of danger, joy and sorrow, and he transforms everyone he meets along the way. Meanwhile Albert, unable to forget his equine friend, searches the battlefields of France to find Joey and bring him home.

Bringing this story to the stage happened in 2007 with the National Theatre production, and in this 10th year, that production is the same now as it was then.

You won’t fail to be impressed by the puppetry of Joey, as a foal or as a full-grown horse (South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company providing both brilliantly). Little touches within the performance like the goose, send you to another place where you don’t see the human performers, you just see a goose, horses and scavenger crows.

The cast performance itself is something quite unique. It’s like a musical number. Each step is carefully choreographed so each movement between puppet and person blends seamlessly.

The main thing I found though, is the sound. It’s just epic. With a soundtrack of some music and song, and the effects of war, you can’t help to be immersed into the story – just watch if you have a dodgy heart, sometimes the effects can just grab you out of thin air, and you’ll end up in the ceiling of the WMC. With the sound, comes the lighting, it wouldn’t work one without the other. It brings the war fields of Europe to the very heart of the staging. There just seems a sense of foreboding with each lit movement on stage.

It’s rare that I feel uncomfortable in watching a performance, but the second half, I felt just that. It’s a strange thing to explain, but it felt like you were watching something truly awful, but I could also not take my eyes away I felt so immersed in the performance.

I’ve only ever managed to catch the last half of the film, and not read the book, but I don’t feel I need to with either medium, as a play, this will give you food for thought, and be thoroughly entertained.

War Horse is on at Wales Millennium Centre till 28th July 2018

Review by Patrick Downes

Review, Island Town, A Theatr Clwyd/ Paines Plough Co-Production by Gareth Williams

(4 / 5)

The Roundabout Theatre makes a welcome return to North Wales sporting a rather distinct yellow exterior. If you’ve not heard of it before, this is a theatre like no other. Assembled from flat pack with nothing but an Allen key, once complete, it is a fully self-contained, intimate little theatre that houses some of the most fantastic new plays in Britain. One of those plays is Island Town, which I was lucky enough to see last week. This 80-minute story of small town life could be described as a dramatic stage version of the BBC3 comedy This Country. Still full of humour but with a darker political edge, Island Town focuses on the lives of three friends trying to get by in a place that offers very little in the way of meaningful activity. With only the hope of escape, they settle, for the time being, on hanging out with one another, getting drunk on cider and looking ahead to the start of their adult lives. But when school’s out and exams are over, they find that it’s not so easy getting by in a place where there’s nothing to do. And escaping is not as easy as it sounds.

Writer Simon Longman has done a sterling job in creating a simple yet powerful narrative. He has created three well-formed characters that all three actors seem to comfortably step into and make their own. It is their relationships that drive the story forward, and make this piece particularly engaging. Whilst I am sad that the wonderful Katie Elin-Salt is not part of the cast this year, the production company, Paines Plough, have nevertheless found three excellent actors to play the roles. Katherine Pearce, in particular, has proved to be a real coup. I say this because she steals the show as Kate, an angry and assertive young carer who feels trapped by the need to look after her ill father. Pearce crackles with antagonistic rage. She places Kate as the centre of attention, a position which seems to strengthen her resolve whilst simultaneously covering up her vulnerability. Such is her pragmatic insistence and strong-willed notions that the three of them must escape the confines of their hometown that we, like Sam (Charlotte O’Leary) and Pete (Jack Wilkinson), agree to go along with her. Yet the consequences of such a decision are damaging to say the least. From here, Pearce slowly allows her character’s vulnerability to creep up to the surface. She causes the fragile state of her character to painstakingly crack through its steely confines. Such a move makes for an emotive performance, and makes Pearce herself one-to-watch.

Both O’Leary and Wilkinson give good support to Pearce in her more central role. In particular, Wilkinson brings a wonderful humorous naivety to his character. He deposits real warmth into his performance that evokes much laughter from the audience, particularly as he spins a fantastic web of outrageous stories, the highlight of which has to be his cremation for a fish. You can’t help but love him, which is why the injustice that he subsequently suffers elicits very strong feelings. In this instance, Longman makes Pete a political mouthpiece for the small town unemployed. He notes that there are no jobs in the local area. With no means of earning money, he must sign on. Yet he can’t sign on as he hasn’t got enough money for the train to the out-of-town job centre. There are no buses, and he can’t drive either. The non-specificity of Island Town’s setting means that it speaks generally into the heart of rural British life, of “Towns that sit like islands in the middle of fields”. Longman shines a sharp spotlight on the realities of small town life, making this not only a humorous play but a very relevant one too.

Island Town is a funny, thought-provoking play of minimalist proportions. At the same time, its message is somewhat universal. At one end, it captures the wonderful creativity that can arise from sheer boredom. On the other hand, it reveals the desperation that can result from a lack of amenities. Katherine Pearce gives a strong emotive performance as Kate, ably joined by Charlotte O’Leary and Jack Wilkinson. The three capture life in a small town incredibly well. With no props or no scenery, they still manage to draw us into their world and make it incredibly real. I’d recommend you catch it, if not in Mold then elsewhere. That’s the beauty of this pop-up theatre. It can pop up anywhere.

Click here to find out more.

gareth

Review: An Officer and a Gentleman – The Musical at the WMC by Roger Barrington

Emma Williams as Paula Pokrifki Jonny Fines as Zack Mayo Ray Shell as Emil Foley Ian Mcintosh as Sid Worley Jessica Daley as Lynette Pomeroy Directed by Nikolai Foster

 

 

 

 

 

(3 / 5)

 

Verve Leicester’s version of the 1982  double Oscar winning film “An Officer and  a Gentleman” is the second attempt to adapt this iconic movie into a musical. The first premiered in Australia in 2012 and bombed out of sight. So can we expect more from this improved 2018 version?

Still set in 1982, the story seems a little dated nowadays with gender issues much more under the spotlight. It is essentially a Cinderella storyline set in Pensacola, Florida, the location of the first Naval Aviation Station in the U.S. military set up in 1914. Since that time, countless number of naval aviators have been trained here. Rather like my home town of Brecon, which also has a, (although diminishing), military presence, there is an uneasy relationship between army personnel stationed there and the local inhabitants. Writer Douglas Day Stewart trained at this base for service during the Vietnam War so his story is based upon his own experiences.

Pensacola, or at least the part around the naval base is depicted as a depressed area where local girls dream of capturing the heart of a trainee officer, in order to raise them from their station.

Friends Paula and Lynette are two of these girls, although it turns out have different agendas. The story shows the courtship of the two officer candidates Zack and Sid, who have to endure a tough twelve-week course to determine whether they are officer material.

 

You’re in the navy now

 

 

The musical version follows the basic story-line of the movie interspersed with a number of well known hits which generally have a slight connection with the action, that helps to keep the show within its historical context.

Early on in the show, a gang of girls working in a mundane job sing, “It’s a Man’s World” and the development of the plot tends to emphasise this.

Emma Williams as Paula is the pick of the singers on display.

Emma Williams as Paula and Jonny Fines as Zack

 

 

Her strong and versatile voice is highlighted in her duet with her mother Esther, (Rachel Stanley), in “Don’t Cry Out Loud” – one of the highlights of the show. Other 80’s pop and rock standards, ” St. Elmo’s Fire”, “Livin’ on a Prayer”, “The Final Countdown”, “On the Wings of Love” and altogether a total of 22 songs are present to entertain you. Most are sung well enough, although sometimes a little stridently, and they are accompanied by recordings of a commissioned band.

Michael Taylor’s set design and Ben Cracknell’s Lighting are of a high standard. With a backdrop of video projections, it provides a filmic effect. The love scene against a backdrop of crashing waves rushing on to Pensacola Beach is memorable.

 

 

The performance was well received and I think this was influenced by the final scene, which director Nikolai Foster judges perfectly by not going too over the top. This is the scene where Richard Gere playing Zack was at odds with director Taylor Hackford for being too overly romantic in contrast to the social deprivation and class issues that preceded it. He wanted a different more realistic ending but lost out.

An Officer and  Gentleman – The Musical isn’t a classic, but it did get audience members around me singing and moving in their seats to the motion of the music and was rapturously received.

If your bag is 80’s music, and a familiar story-line, then you will love this show.

It lasts around 2 and a half hours including a 20 minute interval.

There is strong language throughout and sexual references and scenes.

It runs until 30th June

https://www.wmc.org.uk/Productions/2018-2019/DonaldGordonTheatre/AnOfficerandaGentleman/

Cardiff marks the first touring location for this production. For further details of tour dates

http://officerandagentlemanmusical.com/book

 

Roger Barrington

 

Review “Sherlock Holmes – The Final Curtain” at The New Theatre, Cardiff by Roger Barrington

Theatre Royal Bath Dress Rehearsal April 2018
Sherlock Holmes The Final Curtain
By Simon Reade after Arthur Conan Doyle
Director Ð David Grindley Designer Ð Jonathan Fensom
Lighting Ð Jason Taylor Sound Ð Gregory Clarke
Sherlock Holmes/Robert Powell Mary Watson/Liza Goddard
Mycroft Holmes/Roy Sampson Dr Watson/Timothy Knightley
Miss Hudson/Anna O’Grady Officer Newman/Lewis Collier
Other Parts Daniel Cech-Lucas Peter Cadden
Peter Yapp Louise Templeton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(1.5 / 5)

 

 

The previous occasion I attended The New Theatre in Cardiff, Jess Conrad was donning his “amazing  technicoloured dreamcoat”. The year was 1978, so with great anticipation, I returned to Cardiff’s well known variety theatre. Opened in 1906, the average height of British men was 4 inches shorter than today, which meant that the Dress Circle seat that I occupied for the performance under review, was decidedly less cramped in Edwardian then what I had to endure.

So, not off to an auspicious start then. I was attracted to this production because I have a life long interest in the famous consulting detective.

The action takes place in 1921 and 1922  and we learn that Sherlock was born on Twelfth Night 1854, which makes him 67-68. In a declining mental and physical state his isolated existence at his Sussex home is interrupted by the discovery of a woman, dressed in male attire being found on his own private beach.  Over the next 100 minutes, we witness Sherlock piecing together the evidence until he unmasks the killer towards the end of the show.

Sherlock Holmes is played by Robert Powell, a solid actor whose acting peaked at the summit of Mount Calvary in Franco Zefferelli’s 1977 mini-series, “Jesus of Nazareth”.

You don’t mess with our Sherlock!

 

 

 

Powell, excellent in this production, is much more believable portraying Jesus than he is Sherlock Holmes. Whether it is Basil Rathbone in the 1940’s, Jeremy Brett in the 80’s, Benedict Cumberbatch in the past ten years and Sir Ian McKellan in the 2015 film, “Mr Holmes”, there is a consistency in how our hero is depicted.  Sharp intelligence, a kind of nervous inspired energy, a man of unique intellectual ability and impeccable instinct, I just don’t see Robert Powell being able to achieve that within his acting range.  A great voice, I concede, but, even in Sherlock’s dotage, as Sir Ian McKellan was able to show, we must believe that Holmes is still an exceptional sleuth.

Liza Goddard as John Watson’s wife Mary is also miscast.

 

Liza Goddard as Dr. Watson’s other half Mary

 

 

 

I have seen Ms Goddard on stage before in a dramatic role and I’m not overly convinced that her talents lie in this direction. The Final Curtain is a comedy thriller, but, sadly the writing doesn’t allow Mary to share many of the humerous lines, and that is a shame, because Liza Goddard is at her best in comedic roles. Instead she comes across as a Dame Judi Dench on Xanax.

Timothy Knightly as Dr. Watson fares a little better.

Timothy Knightly as Dr. Watson broadcasting his memoirs of the casebook of Sherlock Holmes on the BBC

 

 

 

I last saw this actor in the fantastic 1994 revival of Arnold Wesker’s “The Kitchen” directed by Stephen Daldry. I attended the first night and it remains one of the most memorable productions I have ever seen. This production could do with some of the sheer excitement and tension that “The Kitchen” possessed.

Roy Sampson plays Mycroft Holmes.

 

Mycroft Holmes (Roy Sampson” in deep discussion with bother Sherlock probably about why he needs to be in this play

 

 

 

Other than a comment about sibling relationship where he is implied but not present, there doesn’t appear to be any reason why he appears in this story other than padding it out a little.

Anna O’Grady plays Miss Hudson – get it? Daughter of the famous Mrs Hudson, housekeeper of 221B Baker Street, who, as this story is set in 1921, based upon the youthful appearance of Miss Hudson, her mother must have set some kind of record for giving birth. And as there is never a mention of a Mr Hudson – well the mind boggles?Miss Hudson is the breezily cheerful stereotypical Cockney maid.

Lewis Collier plays Detective Inspector Newman, looking suspiciously young for this rank for 1921. It is a totally nondescript character and the actor has little to work with.

Oh and there is a tramp played by Peter Brollow, which is fair enough as long as you don’t ever undertake crossword puzzles.

The play is written by Simon Reade,  has an excellent pedigree of credits. Recently he wrote the screenplay for the film version of R.C. Sherriff’s novel “Journey’s End”. and has also worked with The Theatre Royal Bath, (whose production this is), notably on “A Room with a View” an adaptation of E.M. Forster’s exquisite novel. I don’t know what went wrong here. The dialogue is largely anodyne, bordering on the soporific, which manages to convey no chemistry between Holmes and Watson. The exception being the final scene where they are planning their future together, which is not bad at all.

There are some amusing lines, but the story provides no thrills and is so predictable, I was beginning to feel that I had  read the story previously – I hadn’t. I had experienced greater excitement on a wet afternoon in Cwmbach.

And the final scene is totally superfluous and if you think about it, totally ridiculous.

The effects are nothing special and scene changes are carried out in an untidy and clumsy way of a curtain moving slowly back and for across the stage.

Sets other than 221b Baker Street are sparse with only limited props.

This production lies very much in the commodity camp of theatre. The House was almost full, and plays such as this do have a place in the dramatic canon, but I have seen this genre done much better over the years. If you are looking for theatre which challenges you, you would be better off staying at home taking on your pet Shih Tzu at a game of chess.

Sherlock Holmes – The Final Curtain – well, one can only dream.

The play runs until Saturday 30th June 2018 before moving on to Leicester’s Curve next week.

The play is suitable to all.

Runs 110 minutes including a 20 minute interval.

Tour dates

https://www.theatreroyal.org.uk/production/sherlock-holmes-the-final-curtain/

New Theatre Bookings

http://www.newtheatrecardiff.co.uk/what’s-on/sherlock-holmes-the-final-curtain/

 

Roger Barrington