Sherlock Holmes in A Scandal in Bohemia by Francesca De Sica.

Sherlock Holmes in A Scandal in Bohemia tells the chronology of the work in which Sherlock Holmes appeared in starting with his last case the cast of five then in their unique style reflect back to his first and then returning to solve the last case. It’s not as complicated as it sounds and has been constructed extremely well.

The scene is set from the moment you enter the theatre where you are welcomed by the cast in character. Mrs Hudson played by Katharine Blackshaw stood out as a bawdy barmaid of the era offering you gin cocktails and a selection of pies, in the form of meat-free samosas, pork pies or scotch eggs. They don’t skimp on the gin either in the cocktails.

The female-led cast of five plays all the roles between them. Sherlock Holmes played by Elizabeth Appleby and his faithful companion Dr Watson played by the writer Francesca De Sica has been very well cast and really good chemistry on stage. Both roles are brilliantly performed and it’s unimportant that the traditional male roles are led by two very talented female actors.

During one part of the play, they use the old fashioned method of silhouette animation depicting Holmes on his travels where he encounters his arch-enemy, Moriarty. It was really well produced and added another dimension to the play.

There are many comedic scenes and quick-witted comments throughout the whole production which raised a lot of laughs from the auditorium. The facial expressions of sarcasm used by Dr Watson spoke volumes.

Irene Adler as Princess Donohough wore some very risque beautiful outfits. Alot of effort and time has been taken in producing the costumes, the purpose printed posters around the stage and auditorium, stage scenery and props. The costume worn by the King of Germany (Laura-Jean Richardson) looked very luxurious and certainly befitting for a King.

There are scenes of heavy drug use throughout the play. Touching on the various drugs that Sherlock was said to have used in the books. Perhaps it was these which gave him the skill to solve the crimes he did use his extraordinary detective methods. Explaining to Watson that he observes what is going on rather than watching it.

During the production, different relationships are discussed casting an alternative view on how Holmes had interacted with various people he met and focused on his relationship with women suggesting that perhaps he didn’t like them at all. The number of books and plays written about him are all mentioned. If you concentrate on the factual details added to the dialogue you can find out a lot of facts about this popular fictional detective.

Four Stars

Check out the link below to find out more details about the play.

Sherlock Holmes in a Scandal in Bohemia at the Tristan Bates Theatre | Theatre review

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