There is a certain draw and intrigue to Sherlock Holmes. There are many productions of the stories of the private detective for film, stage, television and even video games. Stage West is presenting Ken Ludwig’s version of Sherlock Holmes, entitled Baskerville A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. It’s a fun, quirky, comedic production with theatrical comedy to keep it moving along.
This production has David Leyshon as Sherlock Holmes and Patrick Brown as Watson. Braden Griffiths, Andrew Macdonald-Smith and Esther Purves-Smith play all the other characters on stage, sometimes two at the same time. Ludwig’s play is funny telling of Sherlock Holmes and the Hounds of the Baskervilles. As men in the Baskerville line are being murdered, Sherlock Holmes has been hired to prevent the next death.
Director Mark Bellamy puts his talent for farce and comedy into this production having the actors on stage playing various characters, all doing it with a wink at the audience. It’s a style that has everyone laughing at every turn, even though the story unfolding on stage is quite serious.
It’s a small stage space to work with but JP Thibodeau’s set design lets the sets come in and out around the cast, Macdonald-Smith and Purves-Smith opening doors on stage as different characters as the scenes switch. Anton De Groot’s lighting design along with Mike Gesy’s sound design contribute to the play’s serious sections giving the whole production that mysterious feel. Deitra Kaltyn’s costume design makes each character distinct and at times, comedic.
Baskerville plays well in the hands of Griffiths as he is old hat at switching characters on a whim. Macdonald-Smith is clearly a man of many talents, as he can sing and dance (he was last seen on stage in Calgary in Theatre Calgary’s Crazy For You) and nail his comedic timing. Purves-Smith completes the trio and provides contrast to the detectives on stage trying to solve the murders.
The story of Baskerville isn’t too complicated but Stage West has added theatrical comedic flair to the production so that it is entertaining throughout.
Stage West’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville A Sherlock Holmes Mystery runs until April 15. More information is available online.