The Hound of the Baskervilles: The Hit Farce review at the Lichfield Garrick

Let me start this review by saying that I am a huge Sherlock Holmes fan. If you are too, and you’re looking for a lovingly put together reenactment of one of your favourite tales, complete with thrills, chills and the creepy atmosphere of the moors at night – then this show isn’t for you.

However, if you want a night of slapstick entertainment, more innuendo than you can shake a sausage at and some questionable accents; then Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt, this is right down your Our Souls Alley (you’ll laugh at that later if you see the show, maybe).

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I caught last night’s performance of The Hound of the Baskervilles: The Hit Farce at The Lichfield Garrick, and if you get a chance to see the show, I would recommend it for a night of crude hilarity. The classic story has been added to (or butchered, depending on your view) by actors Oliver Hayes, who plays Holmes (mainly) and Babi Lucille, who plays Dr. Jane Watson (mainly). The fast-paced performance sees the pair play all the roles between them, making for some truly entertaining caricatures. The scene of a drawing room is used throughout the entire play,  with props used to demonstrate a switch in location. For example, Jane bounces along on a suitcase to mimic travelling on a train, and little painted houses are used to herald the arrival at Baskerville Hall. It’s not a high-end production by any means, and it doesn’t pretend to be.

The Hound of the Baskervilles: The Hit Farce
Photo: ©The Other Richard

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My favourite characters of the evening were the creepy butler and Stapleton the naturalist; they were funny, goofy and committed, despite the play being very rough around the edges. The actors were continually breaking the fourth wall, which turned the few gaffs into laughs. There was certainly a lot of laughter coming from the audience, which was amplified by the fact that it was almost a full house. We did notice a few people had slipped away and not returned for the second half, demonstrating that this show is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. In the show’s defence, before anything started the actors did explain the sort of low brow comedy people could expect from the evening’s entertainment, so the tone had been set very early on. Think Carry On film and you’ll be about right, so if you are looking for a serious adaption of the original, then give this one a miss. Personally I had a good laugh and really enjoyed the evening. *howls*.