Cardiff / Film / Television / Theatre

Keep up, Watson. Holmes is back in the 1890s.

large_sherlockSherlock Holmes has been brought into the 21st century by numerous TV productions – the excellent Sherlock, Elementary, the less-obvious House, and countless detectives clearly inspired by the Conan Doyle creation. So it’s a rare pleasure to see a new Holmes production, set in the 1890s – Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret.

Premiered in Leeds in May (2013), Mark Catley’s play is currently touring before it lands in the West End. I was lucky enough to catch it at Cardiff’s New Theatre this week, and if you get chance to see it, please do. You won’t be disappointed.

Atmospheric staging captures the gaslights, steel bridges and foggy streets of Victorian London, and there are even a couple of tricks which will have you debating how they did that.12158_full

The performances are impressive, especially Jason Durr as a troubled (and scarred – mentally and physically) Sherlock, Adrian Lukis as his even more troubled brother Mycroft and Tanya Franks as “the woman”, Irene Adler.

Catley’s script maintains the tension, with a truly Holmesian mystery, and the dialogue includes a smattering of laughs – and some very 21st century phraseology (even that contemporary cliche “no shit, Sherlock”!).

Holmes is such an enduring and appealing creation, I would almost suggest you can’t go wrong with the character. But that wouldn’t be true, as you’ll know if you’ve ever seen The Asylum’s 2010 mockbuster Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.

The film is actually a lot of fun, but the casting of Holmes is just funny. Of all the male actors in the film, Ben Syder seems the least Holmes-like, but such is the way of The Asylum – a topic for a future blog post.

Meanwhile, enjoy The Best Kept Secret if you get chance. Keep up now – the game’s afoot!

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3 thoughts on “Keep up, Watson. Holmes is back in the 1890s.

  1. Pingback: Sherlock, Sherlock’s mum, and a bloody great moth | PieceOf PinkPie

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  3. Pingback: J.M.Barrie and (my ancestor) H.H.Weltch | PieceOf PinkPie

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