Edinburgh Fringe 2016
There are 2 Holmes missing and Mycroft takes a wander across to the US of A to find his unknown half-brother, currently making waves in solving crimes as a consultant detective – Tyson Jackson. He takes the bait and comes to 221B Baker Street to find the two missing relatives; one unfortunately expiring before being found. We get all the chic of Shaft and the clash of cultures before a Holmes cracks the case for Watson to eulogise.
This is Holmes but not as we know them. Mycroft is certainly on hand with his stiff upper lip but we also have a wise cracking black detective who has the words, the insight and a way with the ladies we do not associate with Doyle’s creation. It follows the well-trodden path of cultural clashes before we end up solving the case thanks to some smart dame saying something she doesn’t realise was a clue.
The script is what you might expect had you come up with the idea yourself. It does not have tremendous insight and brings little to the mythology but it never pretends it would. This is a romp which is highly entertaining. Although some of the women characters in the play might do well to find a parts where brains are called for, finding out who did what could be said to make that a redundant criticism; could do.
The direction is crisp and the acting from some well-known faces is exactly what you would expect – on point. I did stop trying to remember where I had seen some of them from…
The set is busy though there is little by way of clutter that causes any problems. The lighting and sound are supportive with just enough action onstage to keep us up to speed.
Overall then it is an engaging time in the theatre that does not add much to the reboot we have seen of Sherlock in the USA with Johnny Lee Miller or our own Holmes with Benedict Cumberbatch but again that was not what it promised. It promises a decent hour of fun and some laughter and that is what it delivers. I was able to sit back, relax and know that I was going to be entertained – and so I was.