Tag Archives: Richard Holt

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hung Parliament

★★★★

Online via www.sherlockimmersive.com

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hung Parliament

Online via www.sherlockimmersive.com

Reviewed – 23rd February 2021

★★★★

 

“a hugely enjoyable alternative to bringing audiences together during the pandemic”

 

At a time when every evening feels the same, it becomes increasingly difficult to find ways of focussing on our direction and knowing where to go or what to do. Particularly when the road maps we are handed are either vague, or else they just point us towards a destination that seems too far away. It is refreshing, then, to be handed, on a silver platter, something a bit different. ‘Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company’, known for immersive productions such as “Alice’s Adventures Underground” and “Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie” have resourcefully adapted their unique style of storytelling for the online age we have been forced to enter during this past year.

“Sherlock Holmes – An Online Adventure” has evolved from a live version of a similar previous production; “The Game’s Afoot” at Madame Tussauds in 2016. In this new online experience, the audience is invited into a virtual world to become the joint protagonists in what is best described as a mix of board game and murder mystery. Forced to go online by the pandemic, this is an innovative way of keeping creatives active and people engaged in the theatre world, even if the lines are blurred between ‘theatre’ and ‘game show’.

The show is subtitled; “The Case of the Hung Parliament”. Sherlock Holmes had been called away to solve another case, out in some indeterminate wilderness, so Dr Watson is left in charge. It is far from ‘elementary’ to Watson, so he recruits us as private detectives to help him solve the case. And we have just over an hour in which to crack it.

The Home Secretary, The Foreign Secretary and the Lord Chamberlain, have all been found hanging, in their own chambers. Each victim died on their birthday, and on that day had received a card with a mysterious quote written in it. The Prime Minister, it appears, is the next on the list of victims. Watson (a thoroughly convincing portrayal by Dominic Allen) briefs us all with a list of suspects before we collectively go off in search of clues. Oliver Lansley, the Artistic Director of Les Enfants Terribles, has said, in a recent interview, that “the fun of a whodunnit is usually not the answer; it’s the journey”. If you embrace the show with that spirit, then you won’t go wrong. The clues are sometimes hopelessly obscure but, on Zoom, we confer and throw theories into the pot, seeing things through different eyes. As Holmes famously quoted: “When you have eliminated the impossible; whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

The team have joined forces with the virtual reality company LIVR to create a 360° world in which we search for the hidden clues. It is a kind of adult version of the ‘Secret Path Books’ you would read as a child in which the outcome is determined by the choices you make. We have the chance to interview the suspects too and, before we point the finger and name the accused, Sherlock himself (Richard Holt) beams onto our screens guiding us towards a unanimous verdict. “There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact”. Time is running out, so our scrambled minds reach a majority decision before Holmes tells us we are right. Or wrong.

There is nothing deceptive about the intentions of this company to provide a hugely enjoyable alternative to bringing audiences together during the pandemic. That they succeed is an obvious fact.

 

 

Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography courtesy Les Enfants Terribles

 


Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hung Parliament

Online via www.sherlockimmersive.com

 

Last ten shows reviewed by Jonathan:
Rent | ★★★★★ | Online | November 2020
Right Left With Heels | ★★★★ | Online | November 2020
Ute Lemper: Rendezvous With Marlene | ★★★★★ | Online | November 2020
Salon | ★★★ | Century Club | December 2020
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk | ★★★★ | Online | December 2020
The Dumb Waiter | ★★★★ | Hampstead Theatre | December 2020
The Pirates Of Penzance | ★★★★★ | Palace Theatre | December 2020
The Elf Who Was Scared of Christmas | ★★★★ | Charing Cross Theatre | December 2020
A Christmas Carol | ★★★ | Online | December 2020
Snow White in the Seven Months of Lockdown | ★★★★ | Online | December 2020

 

Click here to see our most recent reviews

 

United Queendom

★★★★★

Kensington Palace

United Queendom

United Queendom

Kensington Palace

Reviewed – 2nd March 2020

★★★★★

 

“a fabulous and thoroughly enjoyable journey”

 

If you are lucky enough to have a ticket for this sold out show you are in for a treat. If you don’t have a ticket try and get a return.

Kensington Palace is the venue and, when you arrive, you will discover that you have been invited to the birthday party of King George the Second. A feast of delights awaits you! Will you meet the King? Or maybe Queen Caroline? You will definitely see them, and you will also see Henrietta Howard, the Queen’s mistress, and a host of characters from the Georgian court. The Necessary Woman, played by the irrepressible Christina Ngoyi, will escort you to the entrance to the palace. She will probably explain that her job is emptying the many chamber pots that are scattered around. She will be shooed away by Deven Modha, as the Lord Chamberlain, the most important of the King’s staff, as he will no doubt inform you. You’ll pick up a glass of wine, and the revels will begin. At the bottom of a grand staircase you will suddenly by surrounded by a flurry of skirts and wigs as courtiers appear and mingle with the crowd. You will be taught how to bow or curtsy, and maybe hear some hints of scandal. Senesino, the renowned court musician and composer will play virtuoso violin and, later, you will hear his beautiful counter tenor as he sings an aria that echoes and floats down the King’s staircase. James Hastings plays him with such sublime talent, and such wonderful theatricality, that you won’t want the music, to stop. Some of you will be given a golden envelope and ushered away to visit the King’s inner apartments. I don’t know what will happen to the rest of you, as there are two ‘tracks’ to the show and two different experiences. One thing is certain; you will have a fabulous time, whichever way you go.

We were treated to some hilarious court mischief, exposed to factions supporting the King or the Queen, and invited to a salon, where the women of the court hosted such great thinkers as Isaac Newton to talk. Deborah Tracey’s vibrant Salonnieres and the fusty old fashioned Duke of Newcastle, brilliantly played by Richard Holt, disagreed about whether the earth is round of flat. On the way round the palace we come across the Countess of Hertford, a supporter of the Queen, who wears men’s clothing and raps up a storm. Lucy Reynolds clearly has fun playing her, and is a joy. We discovered that Lord Harvey is rather a naughty boy, especially when he is with Miss Vane – Stephan Boyce and Nadia Sohawon really are deliciously scandalous in these roles. And yes, we met the King and Queen and, of course, Henrietta Howard. Lavinia Co-Op is archly camp George II, and Miranda Heath and Yasmin Keita, as the two women central to this story clash and face off like two birds of paradise in a sparkle of jewels and a ruffle of feathers. But is it possible that this ‘Queendom’ could be united? is there, perhaps, another way of doing things? You’ll just have to go and see it to find out. If you can get a ticket.

The costumes are glorious, the wigs and make-up a flamboyant delight. And the music is divine. Susan Kulkarni, Victoria Stride and Patrick Neil Doyle respectively are a dream team of creatives. Nadia Sohawon’s choreography adds to the mix, which manages to be both historically accurate and contemporarily relevant, lit with touch of magic by Pablo Fernandez Baz. And all brought together into a fabulous and thoroughly enjoyable journey through one night in the Georgian court by director Christa Harris. Amid all the uproarious glee we learned a lot too. Unmissable.

 

Reviewed by Katre

Photography by Gail Harland

 


United Queendom

Kensington Palace until 30th March

 

Last ten shows reviewed by Katre:
The Legend Of The Holy Drinker | ★★½ | The Vaults | January 2020
Beige | ★★★★ | The Vaults | February 2020
Gypsy Flame | ★★★ | Network Theatre | February 2020
In My Lungs The Ocean Swells | ★★★★ | The Vaults | February 2020
Killing It | ★★★★ | Network Theatre | February 2020
La Cage Aux Folles | ★★★★ | Park Theatre | February 2020
Life And Death  Of A Journalist | ★★★ | The Vaults | February 2020
Spree | ★★★★ | The Vaults | February 2020
The Upstart Crow | ★★★★★ | Gielgud Theatre | February 2020
Time And Tide | ★★★ | Park Theatre | February 2020

Click here to see our most recent reviews