There is a new man of mystery in town, well kind of… a recognisable name but he has gotten a bit of a personality makeover this time around. He is Sherlock Holmes and he is waiting for you at Theatre on the Bay from 18 – 28 January 2017 to solve the curse of the Queen’s diamond!
Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of the Queen’s Diamond is a play by acclaimed playwright Robert Fridjhon, and reveals an unrecorded Holmes case to the audience. As Fridjhon himself has been a fan of Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's work since he started reading the Holmes tales at age 10, he has stayed true to the Conan Doyle style in crafting this play.
It is billed as a ridiculously funny comedy, and listening to Fridjhon talk about the 20 plus characters the three actors (himself, along with Craig Jackson and Bronwyn Gottwald) bring to the stage, the funness of it all is definitely believable!
With Sherlock Holmes having become a bit of a cult figure in recent years, Fridjhon has set out to highlight him as a socially inept nutty genius that believes it is better to act out a case for Queen Victoria and the Members of Parliament instead of explaining the paperwork. A feat so logical it is practically illogical to everyone else. Just from that it is clear that here you have the recipe for a comical night of theatre that will see you captivated by an absurdly inventive tale that the British Empire never wanted told. Not only is this play written in a very Sherlock way but also well researched from a historical perspective (with the help of Bronwyn Gottwald). Not even mystery connoisseurs will be able to find any gaps in the storyline. “We have ticked all the boxes for the Holmes fans”, says Fridjhon.
So who will be making an appearance in this production, you wonder? Apart from the ever-confused Dr Watson and the overly helpful housekeeper Mrs Hudson, you will also see Sherlock running into some Holmes fan favourites, such as his nemeses Professor Moriarty and the only woman Holmes loved to hate, “that woman” Irene Adler.
“It is very traditional in that sense, we are very true to Conan Doyle and his characters and the history of Sherlock. We kept very true to that”, says Fridjhon. “In fact in our version we are correct in playing Irene Adler as German, because she was born in Germany.”
This well-crafted play (written over a 4 month period, resulting in 9 drafts), is all brought together with the help of director Alan Swerdlow for whom Fridjhon clearly has great respect –
“He is a great director in that he is kind of like a puppet master. The three of us [as cast] work so well together, and it was my idea, my story, so we had a lot of ideas of what we wanted to do in rehearsal, and he would kind of just let us play. Then he would just tweak what we came up with, and he is very good at that. So it was necessary in this production to have that sort of director.”
So what would Fridjhon like the audience's Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of the Queen’s Diamond experience to be?
“It has a classical whodunit element, so it is an entirely plausible story. There is a mystery to it; you can work it out… amongst all the silliness... but you kind of want to say ‘relax, laugh, it’s ridiculous... Just good old fashioned clean fun.”
Whether you are there for the comedy or the intrigue, you are bound to find an element to this untold tale that will leave you feeling very entertained. Plus, Fridjhon promises that “the Holmes fans will be quite pleased”.
It is absolutely elementary that you can’t afford to miss this play-within-a-play whodunit at Theatre on the Bay. It sold out in Johannesburg and there are only 10 shows in Cape Town. Yes, 10 shows only! So run, no rather sprint, to Computicket and book your tickets right away. Or if you want to do so even quicker, this very second (which is advisable), just click on this link here: https://goo.gl/x9GJIi
Sherlock Holmes and the Curse of the Queen’s Diamond runs from 18 to 28 January 2017. Tickets range from R100 to R180 per person. Want to make a complete night out of it? Then book a meal at Side Dish, the in house theatre bistro, too. Both show and dinner package tickets can be purchased at Computicket.