Bablake Theatre’s take on the character of Sherlock delivers a few laughs, though it offers nothing new to the already long list of pastiches and homages the detective has received over the many years.
Reading from the script onstage is not really acceptable for a paid show
The show strings together three adaptations of Sherlock’s cases. Between the cases there are completely superfluous scenes of what appear to be cleaners: it’s not made clear who they are or why we should even care to know. The show would do better focusing on the titular character. The script is all over the place and could have done with longer time in the editing process, if it spent any time there at all. It’s not terrible, but it’s severely uneven. Writer Sam Griffiths either didn’t bother to do his research, or didn’t care that many of the jokes have been done countless times. That said, there is definitely promise in the writing, and I’d be keen to see where his potential gets him in future.
Unfortunately Griffiths also plays Sherlock Holmes and is not born to walk the boards. It’s often difficult to understand what he is saying: a real setback when playing the main character. Also, reading from the script onstage when delivering a monologue is not really acceptable for a paid show.
I know they are young, but most of the cast will have to learn a lot about acting and really knuckle down if they want to come back to the Fringe. The only actor that shows promise is Beth Carter, as she has mastered the basics, such as using facial expressions. Everyone has got to start somewhere, but this particular group have a lot to learn. There isn’t much to recommend this production. You’ll only want to go if you really love to support amature dramatics.