3-⭐ · Fringe Reviews 2018 · Reviews · Theatre Reviews

REVIEW: ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Conundrum of Conan Doyle’ by Quids In Theatre Company

3 Stars

A valiant and committed take on exploring the creator of Sherlock Holmes and the conflicts of reason and logic vs feeling and belief. 

The actors throw themselves into their roles with gusto and commitment. The actor portraying Holmes in particular produces a fair and memorable interpretation of the classic character, being responsible for many of the plays better moments. The actress portraying the Conan Doyle’s widow, though occasionally entertaining, pushes her character a little too hard and consequently loses some of the effect she might otherwise of had within the piece.  She feels much more like she is playing a character while Holmes’s actor feels like he is a character. 

The narrative is not especially engaging and frequently drags, with not enough to keep the audience invested for the entire 50 minutes For all that, what it talks about is interesting, and if it were tackled in a slightly different format could have made for something a lot more engaging. The small moments of interactivity are a good choice for this piece and give it the slight boost from the duller, more drawn out stretches. 

It ends a little anticlimactically and without delivering a clear enough point. I left uncertain of exactly what this play was trying to say to me, though I did enjoy much of the final section with the Medium and the performance of that actress.

Is this play worth seeing? I’m not sure. For me it doesn’t do enough to be noteworthy in either direction. It’s not a bad show, but it’s only fine. It doesn’t quite grasp what it reaches for but there are interesting and enjoyable elements. All in all, I don’t consider it a waist of an hour but not one I’d be quick to recommend either.

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