May 2, 2014

One ‘howl’ of a good night: The Hound of the Baskervilles

REVIEW

A devilish beast lurks a foggy heath in the English countryside. A frightful creature with large fangs and eyes of fire, a centuries old family curse. This is The Hound of the Baskervilles, the latest production by Southern Peninsula Players. Adapted by Tim Kelly, this version is remarkably faithful to the original novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who created the Sherlock Holmes series.

Set at the beginning of the 20th century, the play begins with the aftermath of the death of wealthy baronet, Sir Charles Baskerville. Suspected to have died of a heart attack after encountering the Hound, a supernatural creature which has been terrorising the Baskervilles as part of curse brought upon the family by an ancestor from the 1700s. The late Baskerville’s nephew Sir Henry Baskerville (Paul Barry) returns from Canada to claim his inheritance, but fearing the family curse, Sherlock Holmes (John Jenkins) along with Dr. Watson (Peter Eddy) are called to investigate and stop the beast from striking again.

Is the curse real or is it pure murder? Suspicions run high. There are the Barrymores, a couple having served the Baskervilles for generations whose recently odd behavior suggests other intentions. Yet amongst the terror and chaos is the blossoming love between Sir Henry and Kathy Stapleton (Kirsten Paige) which is put under considerable strain by her over-protective, lepidopterist brother, Jack (Cam Elliot).

John Jenkins gives a faithful performance as the literary legend that is Sherlock Holmes. His fine portrayal is of a more charming, rather than eccentric Holmes which audiences have become accustom to in recent times. There were solid performances from the rest of the cast, special mention should be given to Paul Barry’s enigmatic young Sir Henry, who gave an engaging performance.

Directed by Mr Jenkins, the play greatly benefits from his experience and mindset of playing Holmes. His understanding of Holmes’ quirks, remarkable intellect and intuitive nature – all necessary to help him solve the case – is what guides the play and prevents it from becoming a static reproduction. One truly feels the tension of this riveting mystery.

Suspenseful with many twists and turns this production of The Hound of the Baskervilles is thoroughly enjoyable and a perfect way to spend a cold, misty winter’s night in Rosebud.

Written by Chris Vlahonasios
Edited by Kyri Fuss


Dates: May 8th, 9th 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th & 18th
Tickets: $22.50 / $25.00 (click here to buy online)
Venue: Rosebud Memorial Hall
Location: 994 Point Nepean Road, Rosebud VIC
Phone: 03 5982 0494

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