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Review: Hound of the Baskervilles at Gateshead Little Theatre

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Howling With Laughter

Hound of the Baskervilles
Gateshead Little Theatre
Until Saturday 12th December 2015

Imagine an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's "Hound of the Baskervilles" in which there are more laughs than mystery? The story has been carefully adapted by Stephen Canny and John Nicholson. As an added twist, this production, by the Progressive Players of Gateshead, has all 16 characters performed by just 3 actors. The end result is very funny.

The show opens as Sir Charles Baskerville meets his untimely end. Philip Alexanders opens up an imaginary gate with creaking sound effects. In a simple gesture, the audience have already started laughing for all of the right reasons. Any worries are blown away as Daniel Wilde charges onto the stage to stop the action and read a production warning notice. The Play That Goes Wrong is currently going down a storm in the West End and it is that wonderful level of humour that has been achieved here.

James Race plays Sherlock Holmes as they try to solve the riddle of Baskerville’s death. Daniel Wilde is his faithful companion Watson. They discover that there is one final Baskerville remaining, his nephew Henry, who is coming across from Canada to visit the estate. They decide to head to Dartmoor to get to the bottom of the riddle. Holmes tries to remain the alpha male in each conversation even though Watson has his fair share of breakthroughs.

The cast clearly enjoy this show and it is the onstage chemistry between the 3 that helps make this show work. Behind the scenes, the crew also have comic timing with the lighting and sound effects and ensuring the props are ready.

At a time of year when theatres are full of shows for children it is great to see a show that adults will enjoy. Janet Wind’s direction has resulted in a slick performance. There is a nice combination of breaking that fourth wall and apparent “errors” on stage for the audience to laugh at. 

Proving that laughter isn’t for children this is the perfect antidote for the pantomime season. This is a very funny show that is well worth seeking out.

Jim Race as Sherlock Holmes & many others
Phil Alexanders as Sir Henry & others
Dan Wilde as Watson & Local

Stage Manager Terry Collier, Gordon Dunlop, Gavin Jaques,
Set Design & Construction George Mavin, Peter Mitchell & John Woods
Lighting Sound Set by: Robbie Carruthers & Mike Swallow
Lighting operate: Jenni Craig
Sound Set: Marian Walker
Sound Operate: Samantha Hutton
Directed by: Janet Wind

Box Office: 0191 478 1499


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