Holmes and Watson: The Farewell Tour

Holmes is going into retirement, but before he does he convinces Watson, Inspector Lestrade and Mrs Hudson to join him on a farewell tour, to enact some of his more challenging and unrecorded cases. Only, Lestrade and Hudson don’t turn up - and I can’t say I blame them.

The narrative itself isn’t fantastic – a little slow and wandering, there is a lot of filler that could be cut to make a snappier and more engaging piece. There are some good sections, including the final twist that is actually quite interesting, but these are drowned by mediocre dialogue that does little to advance the plot or entertain.

The actors, James Snee as Holmes and Liam Nooney as Watson, don’t lack ability. They play multiple characters quite well, switching between them fluidly – although their tendency to play on physical silliness for laughs didn’t work for anyone other than the children in the audience. However, their main characters are one-dimensional - Holmes is consistently earnest with a rarely unfurrowed brow and Watson forever the stroppy toddler demanding attention and recognition - which becomes wearing and predictable.

Using a few well-chosen props to reconstruct different scenes was an interesting choice and quite creatively done. It is a good way to get round having too many big set changes, but even with relatively few props it looked a little cluttered.

There are some good moments in the production, and the actors have potential, but it needs some heavy editing and cutting to make it more engaging; as it is, it doesn’t quite work.

Since you’re here…

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The Blurb

‘Fast-paced entertainment at its very best’ ***** (Oxford Times). ‘Ingenious, people gasping and howling with laughter’ (Banbury Guardian). Infectiously funny Holmes presented with panache! Do not miss it, it's elementary!

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