The Final Revelation of Sherlock Holmes at the Pleasance Theatre

4 Mar

It’s been some time since I’ve written on this old blog.  I’d love to say it’s because I’ve been too busy with an array of exciting social engagements but that would be a lie.

However – I did go to the lovely Pleasance Theatre in Caledonian Road on Sunday to watch Tim Norton’s play, ‘The Final Revelation of Sherlock Holmes’, directed by Danny Wainwright.  There seems to have been a lot of Sherlock hype recently, what with Mark Gatiss’s BBC adaptation winning record viewers, and the series in the US with Johnny Lee Miller as Sherlock and Lucy Liu (really?!) as Dr Watson.  And of course, Robert Downey Jr in those actiony Hollywood flicks.

So I was kind of intrigued to see what more could be done with the Sherlock – Watson pairing.  The play looks at Sherlock and Watson at a time when both have seen better days.  It’s 1930; they haven’t taken a case on in years and are falling behind with the rent.  Watson is rummaging through old cases to see if he can sell them to The Strand magazine so basically, times are tough.  And made even more so by Sherlock’s drug habit which seems to be spiralling out of control due to a lack of intellectual stimulation and the need for something bigger.

The entire play consists of only the two characters – Watson (played by James McGregor) and Holmes (Nico Lennon)- and the dialogue can get a little tedious at times, becoming almost a caricature of itself in all its Englishness.  The plot line is a little confusing to follow – perhaps more so, as I was watching the play while unknowingly enjoying symptoms of food poisoning from some dodgy oysters from the uncharming Bodo’s Schloss (more on that another time perhaps).  It explores the murky depths Holmes is willing to tread in to find some sort of solace in an empty world that doesn’t excite him any longer, as he talks to Watson about his ability to commit The Perfect Crime.

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What I enjoyed most about the play was the emotionally affecting moments – the determined attitude of Watson to pull his dear friend out of the depression in which he has fallen, and the troubled, melancholia surrounding Holmes.  In this respect, the script is very true to the original stories, and it is almost heart-breaking to see Holmes disintegrate into his cocaine-fuelled, depressive cloud in the second half.  In conclusion, a rather confused narrative that won’t be to everyone’s taste but a genuinely touching exploration of Watson and Holmes’ relationship.

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