HOW can one open-air show with just four actors possibly contain so much action and adventure? Elementary, my dear!
The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company put dynamic detective duo Holmes and Watson through their paces as they tackle their most fiendish case yet in an inventive and hilarious show for all ages.
Sherlock Holmes will be performed in the open air at Killerton House on August 22, featuring live music, audience interaction and more mystery than you can shake a magnifying glass at.
By choosing to produce Sherlock Holmes, the touring group has stepped away from its traditional open-air theatre repertoire of Shakespeare, Austen or children's literature, and chosen something unusual. The stories and characters of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are timeless, still attracting TV and film adaptations even 120 years after Holmes' first appearance.
"We are tackling Sherlock Holmes," said producer Mark Hayward, "because we like to take on things which are ridiculously ambitious to stage and find ingenious ways to convey these to an audience. With Holmes we have a high-speed boat ride down a foggy Thames, a moonlit chase across rooftops, and daring escapes and fights, all with a cast of just four actors."
And, apparently, the outcome of the play can be different in every location.
"In fact, depending on suggestions from the audience or even what the weather does, the show will change a lot," he added. "It's a very exciting concept but we don't want to spoil anything by revealing too much now."
As with their previous productions, audience participation is key – fuelling live music, improvisation and entertainment for all ages. Those with a sleuthing nature can attempt to solve the case before the final curtain, by summing up all the evidence.
"The real strength of the Holmes stories, aside from the adventure elements and clever mysteries, is the relationship between Holmes and Watson and brilliant dialogue that still sparkles straight off the page. It makes adapting the stories for stage a real joy."
Sherlock Holmes is at Killerton House, Broadclyst, on Thursday, August 22, from 7pm. Take a chair, rug and a picnic. Call 0844 249 1895.