WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
So, in the build up to this show my excitement was building to new heights, a new Sherlock Holmes adventure! The greatest fictional detective of all time, yes, even greater than Poirot, John McCain or Luther. This particular adventure was written by Simon Reade (Artistic Director of Bristol Old Vic and Literary Manager of the Royal Shakespeare Company and at London’s Gate Theatre). Simon once won an award for an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland specifically designed for young people, and I wonder if his intention was an attempt to bring the classic style of story telling to a younger audience. The script was a little flat without much character development and the plot was fairly predictable in the main. Some of the minor twists were a little shocking, such as the relationship between Mrs Watson and the ghost of the Professor Moriarty; though I would have liked this to have been explored further. I almost felt as though it was just thrown in to achieve a modern sense of darkness whilst the dialogue was simple enough for people of all ages to follow.
The story began with an elderly Sherlock ‘Smith’ long into his retirement in a quiet coastal cottage, far and away from hustle and bustle. And yet, here we are with two Sherlock, two cops and a dead body which had washed up on Sherlocks private beach. A young lady, dressed as a man. Shortly after they depart, a guest from the past rocks Sherlocks world. A woman, dressed as a man, with news of Dr Watsons dead son walking this world again. Back to London and Baker street we go for a fun and entertaining adventure, mostly thanks to the wonderful acting and outrageously smooth set changes. Bravo to the set design team, you truly helped the audience find affinity with the scene, and upon occasion I did truly loose myself in the moment.
A fun show suitable for the grandparents and the children but other than Sherlock newbies and the die-hard fans, most will leave the show entertained but ultimately unsatisfied and undazzled.