The Sign of Four

A week after The Mousetrap and I’m back at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre (less snowy – the daffs are out) for the second of an anticipated five weeks in a row of theatrical thrillers: The Sign of Four. Adapted by Nick Lane from the second of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels to feature his most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes, I had great hopes for this production given the brilliance of the Blackeyed Theatre company’s ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ last year.

It certainly lived up to expectation. Luke Barton made a wonderful Holmes – I’d put him up there in my all-time top three Sherlocks with Basil Rathbone (the ultimate) and Richard Roxburgh. And our narrator, Dr. Watson was equally well cast in Joseph Derrington. Ru Hamilton was quite brilliant playing a number of roles and also providing some of the live music, which was a quirky element that added to the magical ambience of the production. It was fast-paced, frenetic and fun – the cast threw their all into every part of this piece – the end product being a stylish, well-crafted and exciting telling of the tale. This has whet my appetite for more… Blackeyed Theatre, if you’re reading this, I would love to see you continue with Barton and Derrington and bring us my personal favourite of all Holmes mysteries, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I can lend you a dog if it would help…

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