The Hound of the Baskervilles enjoyed a short run to the Cambridge Arts Theater last week. Angela Singer reviews the show.
In response to a question, one of the multiple characters of The Hound of the Baskervilles said casually, “I’d rather not be attracted.”
âWatson,â Holmes said, âPut away your sketchbook. “
Jokes get better. It’s a polished show where three actors play all the roles, changing genres, costumes and accents at lightning speed. At the start of the second half, they pick up the first half in a quick recap.
The plot seems at first glance more complicated than it is. A vicious-sounding dog is suspected of having killed the heirs to Baskerville’s fortune. Sherlock Holmes, however, suspects that a human might be behind the dead after all.
All three actors are impressive, but the standout performance is that of Jake Ferretti as Holmes and many others. It is a masterpiece of transformations.
I loved his wives – an extremely tall Spanish lady and Mrs. Barrymore, the butler’s sobbing, hardworking wife. He also plays the butler himself, the bearded Mr. Barrymore, and the villain of the play, Jack Stapleton, an unreliable Northerner.
The contributions of the other two of the trio should not be underestimated: Niall Ransome in late but discreet Dr Watson and Serena Manteghi, who plays several roles with aplomb including Sir Henry, heir to the Baskerville fortune, whose life is in danger, and various other people from different parts of the British Isles, described as a doctor, a helpful London taxi driver and three country yokels.
This show parodies various theatrical styles: melodrama, farce and pantomime. The comedy goes from a smooth start to a rewarding second half and there were screams from the audience at the end.
The play, adapted for the stage by Steven Canny and John Nicholson for Peepolykus and presented by the Original Theater Company, premiered at the Arts Theater and will tour nationally.
It’s a fun night and my suspicion is that it will be well received.