Good detective stories are always entertaining, perhaps none more so than Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes stories. The rendition of two specific stories, “The Red-Headed League” and “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” by seasoned performers John D. Huston and Kenneth Brown, in association with Winnipeg Thespian Fellowship Productions, is both engaging and impressive from a performance standpoint. As a two-actor production, Huston and Brown seamlessly take on the roles of different characters as they appear throughout the stories. The voice of Holmes, however, is always identifiable by the actor who wears his characteristic deerstalker cap.
The narration of the action in the stories as it occurs by moment is highly effective, leading suspenseful situations to thrilling conclusions. The relaying of events is also enlivened by the improvised noises the actors make to complement them, such as the clicking of teeth while driving around London and the creaking moan when opening doors and gates. The minimalistic set, containing only two chairs in the middle of the stage, works well with the production’s format, as it allows the viewer to imagine for themselves the scenes which Holmes and Watson describe. My only quibble is that the impressions of female characters are not as effective as those of male ones (especially those of a major character in the second story). Nevertheless, 2 Sherlock Holmes Adventures is a duly delightful show which does its job well in re-creating the old-time detective stories of Conan Doyle.
This article was posted in Capital Critics Circle on June 15, 2019, and has been reposted with permission.
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This post was written by Natasha Lomonossoff.
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