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Hound melodrama a howling success at Queen's Theatre

PUBLISHED: 15:20 01 November 2012

Queen's Theatre Hornchurch Oct 2012 Dress Rehearsal
The Hound Of The Baskervilles By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted by Steven Canny & John Nicholson
Directed by Bob Carlton Designed by Norman Coates
Jonathan Markwood as Sherlock Holmes
Simon Jessop as Dr Watson Greg Last as Sir Henry Baskerville
Mr Steven Marwick on Piano
©NOBBY CLARK
+44(0)7941-515770
+44(0)20-7924-0302
nobby@nobbyclark.co.uk. Please credit Nobby Clark

Queen's Theatre Hornchurch Oct 2012 Dress Rehearsal The Hound Of The Baskervilles By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Adapted by Steven Canny & John Nicholson Directed by Bob Carlton Designed by Norman Coates Jonathan Markwood as Sherlock Holmes Simon Jessop as Dr Watson Greg Last as Sir Henry Baskerville Mr Steven Marwick on Piano ©NOBBY CLARK +44(0)7941-515770 +44(0)20-7924-0302 nobby@nobbyclark.co.uk. Please credit Nobby Clark

©Nobby Clark nobby@nobbyclark.co.uk

»Victorian detective Sherlock Holmes is really in right now with trendy, modern remakes starring Benedict Cumberbatch on TV and Robert Downey Junior in the film franchise.

The Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane, Hornchurch, has produced its own version of the Conan Doyle classic The Hound of the Baskervilles as a howling, comic melodrama.

So, does it work? By God, Holmes, it does.

Three members of the theatre’s Cut to the Chase company play 16 roles between them.

Timing

This needs quick changes, clever prop handling and spot-on timing.

It has the chance to go very horribly wrong.

But Jonathan Markwood, Simon Jessop and Greg Last play a blinder, along with accompanying pianist Steven Marwick who gets roped in as a yokel.

They make a complex choreography look, oh, so simple.

In the first act the actors break down the fourth wall for a chat about the safety curtain.

I found that curious but it was merely a clever plot device for the opening of the second act, which I am not going to reveal apart from to say it had the applauding audience collapsing with laughter. At one point Markwood, as Holmes, manages to be both characters he is playing in the same room at the same time.

Jessop, as Watson, and Last, as a lovelorn Baskerville, are excellent too.

I particularly liked the steam room, train journey and face in a picture scenes. The set is stripped down with just a back projection of black and white period photos.

There is plenty of howling, mists and gunshots while the piano adds a clever silent film feel, upping and downing the tension. John Nicholson and Steven Canny are the writers and it is directed by Bob Carlton.

The show runs until November 17. Tickets are £16-£24.50. Call the box office on 01708 443333 or book at www.queens-theatre.co.uk

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