|HOLMES AND WATSON SAVE THE EMPIRE - First Impressions Theatre|
|REVIEWS - LIVE|
|Written by Tessa Perkins|
|Sunday, 03 March 2013 19:37|
"...this family friendly play is a hilarious romp through the strange world of deduction..."
Show: Holmes and Watson Save the Empire
Company: First Impressions Theatre
Director: Jahnna Beecham
Music Director: Malcom Hillgartner
Book and lyrics by: Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner
Actors: Damon Calderwood, Gordon Roberts, Chris Robson, Renée Bulat, Kelly Avery
Venue: Deep Cove Shaw Theatre
Run: February 27 – March 16 2013
Reviewed by: Tessa Perkins
In the intimate Deep Cove Shaw Theatre this silly musical mystery is having its Canadian premiere with First Impressions Theatre. Full of witty songs and banter between Holmes and Watson, this family friendly play is a hilarious romp through the strange world of deduction as the dynamic duo try to figure out Queen Victoria’s secret.
Holmes (Calderwood) and Watson (Roberts) have once again stumbled upon a confounding mystery and this time it involves the Gaiety Music Hall, a silver cigarette case, and protecting a national secret. The fate of the British Empire rests in their hands and they must solve Professor Moriarty’s puzzle in order to save themselves and the Empire.
Accompanied by Chris Robson on piano and Renée Bulat violin, the songs in this show are upbeat and well executed, but sometimes they seemed to be lacking something that I can’t put my finger on and I wasn’t overly impressed with the vocals. That being said I enjoyed the funny lyrics of songs like “Hookah” as Holmes and Watson sat smoking from a large hookah and becoming more intoxicated.
Another great song was “Victoria’s got a Secret” with the obvious reference to the lingerie company. This one got a lot of laughs from the audience. “One True Friend” was a sentimental tune between Holmes and Watson which I thought was well written but somehow wasn’t able to come across as all that genuine in the midst of the sort of slapstick atmosphere. The more emotional songs were too much of a contrast with the rest of the show.
The elaborate set really pulled everything together with many objects from Sherlock’s other adventures. I loved this attention to detail to bring the world of these two great literary figures to life. Watson ends up wearing a dress, Holmes ends up on stage at the Gaiety Music Hall, and eventually they figure out who the Nightingale of Nuremburg actually is. This was a delightful night at the theatre and a must see for Sherlock Holmes fans.