Hound of the Baskervilles

Hound of the Baskervilles3

Reviewed by Matt Forrest

Over the years there has been many interpretations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles – at least 20 TV and film adaptations alone, not to mention countless theatrical productions. However I challenge anyone to say they have seen anything quite like Northern Rep’s version of this classic tale… and if you don’t believe me, the proof is currently at the King’s Arms for all too see. 

Arriving at the King’s Arms, Salford for a two week run, this fun filled murder mystery focuses on the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville and the apparent threat to the heir of the Baskerville estate, Henry Baskerville. Super sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his trustee sidekick Dr Jane Watson travel from their home on Baker Street all the way to the Devonshire moors, where they encounter all manner of suspects, with even more suspect accents! Can our daring duo not only solve the case but also survive the horrid hell hound? Time will of course tell. 

Those expecting a faithful and straight laced reworking of this classic tale are in for a shock. This is an innovative, funny and downright brilliant reworking of this classic tale. All parts are played by two hugely talented actors in Michael Justice and Angela Hazeldine. The performances alternate with two other actors, so it’s pot luck as to who you’ll get, however this is the second time I have seen this production with different cast members and in no way has it detracted from my enjoyment – if anything, it’s all the better as it keeps things fresh and slightly unexpected. The script is packed full of so many double entendres and just plain daft gags that maybe it should be called Carry on up the Baskervilles. However the joy really comes from Justice and Hazeldine’s adlibbing and doing their best to put the other off their stride.  

Hound

Granted, they play fast and loose with the original story and by the end the convoluted plot becomes secondary as the show becomes an excuse to have a bloody good giggle.  A spot of audience participation is required and the audience tonight got into the swing of things, laughter is most definitely the order of the day. 

As I said earlier, this was my second time seeing this production and each time has been something different: the first time there were some children in attendance and the second there were none, but both performances were adapted to make all feel welcome, with the first performance being more child friendly, without losing any of the humour. 

It’s the job of any critic to critique any show as honestly as possible, however sometimes there’s no harm in leaving it to audience members to have the final say: I got talking to a lovely couple during the interval and the gentlemen claimed he’s been watching shows with his wife for over 45 years, this he told me is only second show he hasn’t fallen asleep in during all that time and I can assure you he made it through the second half too! 

Go and see this riotous romp at your nearest opportunity – you certainly won’t be disappointed! Fun, filthy and downright fabulous! 

Hound of the Baskervilles is on at Kings Arms till the 25th November 

Tickets available from: http://www.kingsarmssalford.com/whats-on/ 

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Hound of the Baskervilles3

If you’re looking for a riotous romp through the mysterious Devonshire moors without having to leave the comforts of the city, then get yourselves down to Manchester’s newest pop-up theatre, The Reading Room where you’ll find Northern Rep putting their hilarious stamp on Arthur Conan Doyle’s much loved classic, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

This fun-filled murder-mystery spoof follows legendary super sleuths Sherlock Holmes and Dr Jane Watson as they attempt to solve the curious case of the death of Mr Charles Baskerville as the threat of the curse of a bloodthirsty hound looms large over Baskerville’s heir Henry. Unbeknown to our crime solving duo the secret to cracking the case may well be being kept from them by Charles’ very own family, despite this our detecting duo press on determined to return to Baker Street triumphant!

Incredibly all parts in this innovative production are played by just two actors who rotate performances, the highly versatile and hugely talented Christopher Brown and Angela Hazeldine perform this evening with Thea Beyleveld and Michael Justice also performing during the run. They differentiate characters by giving them superbly exaggerated accents from as far as Texas to Taunton and many, many places in between as well as props befitting each character. The duo blister through the piece with hilarious consequences, both are engaging, superbly silly and hugely entertaining, with the action becoming increasingly outrageous as we meet more and more characters from the moors.

Hound of the Baskervilles2

The emphasis here is on comedy and boy do the two cast members deliver; they play off each other beautifully as the sharp script gifts our duo with some real genuine moments of laugh out loud humour. Of course no spoof would be complete without occasional trips and line-fluffs which only adds to the controlled chaos of this delightful production, there are cheeky innuendos a plenty as canes are caressed and overgrown bushes penetrated, ooh err!

Director Thomas Moore has used the intimate space of the reading room to great effect. The beautifully crafted 30 seater venue within Manchester’s Great Northern Warehouse is the perfect setting for bringing the melodrama and magic of the piece to life. You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes fan to get enormous pleasure out of this farcical whodunit, the show’s spontaneous feel makes it accessible to all as the cast charmingly address the audience apologising for apparent mistakes. The Hound of the Baskervilles is an absolute riot, cheeky, chaotic and jolly good fun, with the fabulous Mrs Hudson on hand to wet your whistle it’s an absolute must-see!

On at The Reading Room, Great Northern until Saturday 16th September https://www.northernrep.co.uk/thebaskervilles

 

MOAT

MOAT 16 1

Manchester Open Air Theatre returns this summer with something for everyone in the form of five classic tales; Macbeth, The Jungle Book, The Importance of Being Earnest, Peter Pan and Hamlet.

Presented by Northern Rep, Manchester Open Air Theatre (MOAT) will bring each production to life in a pop-up 500 seater outdoor theatre in Manchester’s beautiful Chorlton Park between Monday 31st July and Saturday 2nd September.

Incredibly the 5 very different productions will be presented over the 5 weeks by the same core company of actors, stage managers, designers and director, an exciting challenge no doubt for the hugely talented Northern Rep Company, (who are currently performing The Hound of the Baskervilles at The Reading Room, Great Northern, tickets available here www.northernrep.co.uk/thebaskervilles )

MOAT 16 2

Thomas Moore, artistic director said “Following last year’s hit summer season; Plays in the Park, we can’t wait to bring Manchester Open Air Theatre to Chorlton Park this summer. This season has something for everyone. The Jungle Book and Peter Pan are going to be a treat for both little and big kids. We have two of the greatest dramas of all time; Macbeth & Hamlet. And to top it off we have the hilariously outrageous The Importance of Being Earnest. Don’t miss what is going to be a brilliant summer.” Listings are as follows;

Macbeth – Mon 31 Jul – Sat 5 Aug. Recommended for ages 13+

The Jungle Book – Mon 7 – Sat 12 Aug. Recommended for ages 3+

The Importance of Being Earnest – Mon 14 – Sat 19 Aug. Recommended for ages 13+

Peter Pan – Mon 21 – Sat 26 Aug. Recommended for ages 5+

Hamlet – Mon 28 Aug – Sat 2 Sep. Recommended for ages 13+

Tickets for all productions are £20

MOAT 16

In addition to the great theatre on offer, the MOAT season will run alongside the inaugural Manchester Wine Festival, which Northern Rep is thrilled to be bringing to Chorlton Park . Offering the opportunity to try around 80 wines from old favourites to new kids on the block Manchester Wine Festival 17 is the perfect event for both newbies and experts. With Chorlton Park easily accessible via the Metrolink (St Weburgh’s Road and Barlow Moor Road stations are a 3 minute walk away) MOAT is a great opportunity to enjoy some quality theatre accompanied by quality wine in the beautiful and unique setting of Chorlton Park.

For more information and to book tickets head to www.manchesteropenairtheatre.com

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Hound

Northern Rep bring Arthur Conan Doyle’s much loved classic, The Hound of the Baskervilles, to Great Northern Warehouse’s new space, The Reading Room, this week.

Northern Rep invite audiences to join Sherlock Holmes and his trusted sidekick Dr Watson as they travel from the streets of London to the Devonshire Moors in an attempt to solve the mystery of, The Hound of the Baskervilles. The intimate city centre setting allows Northern Rep to deliver an evening of fast-paced action as two hugely talented actors take on every role in this riotous romp. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have never been so funny as they poke fun at the mystery and melodrama of the Moor!

Thomas Moore, Artistic Director of Northern Rep, said: “I’m thrilled to be bringing one of Sherlock Holmes’ and Dr Watson’s most famous adventures to Manchester in its own purpose built theatre: The Reading Room. We’ve been working hard over the past few months converting a secret corner of The Great Northern Warehouse into an intimate 30 seat theatre that will host The Hound of the Baskervilles. Expect riotous performances from Mr Holmes and Dr Watson as Mrs Hudson takes care of all of your refreshment needs from your seat!”

Presented by Northern Rep, adapted and directed by Thomas Moore, and performed in pairs by four cast members – Thea Beyleveld, Christopher Brown, Angela Hazeldine and Michael Justice – who rotate performances. The Hound of the Baskervilles opens on Friday 16th June. Ticket information can be found here; www.northernrep.co.uk/thebaskervilles

Tickets £12 (Previews from Friday 16 – Monday 19 June tickets £6)

120mins including interval.