Preview- Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery


Sweet & Sour is back on stage after a little break since The Elephant Song. This time artistic director Candice Moore has opted for something a little different and certainly more light-hearted, but surely a pillar of British literature. Her team is looking forward to entertaining you all with Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. 





"I tend to direct and produce serious drama, so I was looking to do something different and a bit lighter this time." Candice explains. "I thought that a comedic adaptation of a literary classic would be interesting and challenging to work on. I was already familiar with the writer, Ken Ludwig,  as I saw his theatrical adaptation of Treasure Island which was very clever and funny. When I saw he had adapted The Hound of the Baskervilles for the stage, I was interested. I have always enjoyed the various theatrical, TV and Film versions of Sherlock Holmes, although my favourite version is still the old black and white films starring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Watson. The play is very well-written, and when I read it, it made me laugh out loud. Once I saw that it requires a cast of five actors to play 40 different roles, I knew I had to take on the directorial challenge! The structure is similar to Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of The 39 Steps where actors play multiple roles to hilarious effect. The style of comedy also reminds me of the Mel Brooks film Young Frankenstein which is a comedy classic."





In this work, Ken Ludwig transforms Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, into a murderously funny adventure. Sherlock Holmes is on the case. The male heirs of the Baskerville line are being dispatched one by one. To find their ingenious killer, Holmes and Watson must brave the desolate moors before a family curse dooms its newest heir. The intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises, and deceit as the five actors deftly portray more than 40 characters. Does a wild hellhound prowl the moors of Devonshire? Can our heroes discover the truth in time? Unmasking the culprit is far from elementary. The play will appeal to children and adults as the comedy is broad and physical with some hilarious dialogue to match.





Five local actors are involved in this production: Ivan Idzik (our Artist of the Month) is starring as Sherlock Holmes and Warren Adams (previously seen in The Elephant Song) is Sherlock's right arm, Watson. Davina Lee Carrete (also Sound Designer), Hamish Campbell, and Jaqueline Gourlay Grant face quite a challenge as they portray several characters during the play. 



"I’m working with a great team who also have a great sense of humour!", Candice says. "The play is very fast moving, and there are a lot of scene and costume changes.I was working on a scene with the actors in rehearsal. At the end of it, Hamish Campbell has to change into a dress for the next scene quickly. But because I kept going back to work on the previous one, he kept having to take off the dress. Also, Ivan Idkiz, who plays Holmes, only has one full costume change in the show. He asked us what he should do with his wig, beard, and moustache. Now, three of his colleagues in the show have over a dozen costume changes. So they replied, “work it out, mate!” The costumes are designed by Jacqueline Gourlay Grant and Vivian Chow. 



Candice points out that the production requires planning and organization. "We have worked out the most efficient way for the actors to do their costume changes, so they look seamless and unrushed. As the Fringe Club is a small venue, we had to make sure we could design and build an effective set that would comfortably fit in the space and still depict the numerous interior and exterior locations of the play". The set and lighting are designed by Ian Pratley. The production team also involves Heather Cooper (Stage Manager), Vanessa Lee (Deputy Stage Manager and Sound), Mandy Petty (Dance and Choreography), Leena Lempinen (Make-up), Antonio Pelayo (Publicity Design), Aaron Michelson and Manx Dotillos (Rehearsal Photography). 


Sweet & Sour' s next production will be staged in March 2018. Candice is still considering what she's in the mood for after Baskerville. "I have not made a final decision on what it will be yet, but I am considering plays by Tennessee Williams and Terence Rattigan. Or I may direct another comedy! I’ll keep you posted!"





Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery opens at The Fringe Club on October 18 through October 28. Adult tickets: HKD 290. Fringe Members, Senior Citizens, Students, Disabled tickets are HKD240. Available at Ticketflap. For more information click here


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