Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother in the Case of a Study in Blood

Sherlock Holmes, true to its original with all the same characters and tropes that keep fans hooked, but with a twist. The famous detective becomes a Godot figure, never actually emerging on stage despite being central to the action. Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, meanwhile, does not in fact refer to Mycroft, as the title would suggest: instead, it refers to Tyson Jackson (Matt Boatright-Simon), his black, LA ‘detective consultant’ half-brother, a womaniser and wise-cracking wit. Jackson is brought to London, armed only with “a toothbrush, 100 condoms and a Lonely Planet guide,” to solve the case of the disappearance of Sherlock and the death of their father, Professor Holmes. Initially clashing with the stiff upper-lipped male Brits (less so with the women), Jackson uses the same sorts of methods as Sherlock to solve the mystery.

As an hour of light entertainment, Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother is a real laugh for late night viewing.

Opening in media res in front of the corpse of a murdered father, Tyson ‘Mothafucking’ Jackson has the audience hooked, possessing the same genius that attracts people to Sherlock Holmes, but with an added streetwise, larger-than-life dimension. Jokes leave the audience in stitches and laugh at just about every line emerging from Boatright-Simon’s mouth. Fans of Holmes will also notice consistencies with the books, making the addition of this long-lost half-brother very plausible.

Casual misogyny pervades throughout, worthy of both Sherlock Holmes and James Bond combined. The play is very funny, although maybe too many sex jokes and jibes about how much Jackson stirs up the status quo, at the expense of plot. The acting was in general superb, although the romantic subplot between Jackson and Agnes Jane Pumplechook (Francesca Manzi) lacked conviction. The clash between the emotionally stagnant and repressed British and the lively and often un-PC Jackson is marvellously entertaining. As an hour of light entertainment, Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother is a real laugh for late night viewing. 

Reviews by Fiona Russell

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The Blurb

Sherlock Holmes kidnapped. His father, Professor Holmes, murdered. The Holmes family under siege by shadowy adversaries looking to wipe out the bloodline. Mycroft recruits brash and brilliant American private detective Tyson Jackson to unravel these mysteries and reveal something even more shocking. With Watson’s help and Lestrade’s bumbling, will the truth be revealed? Come discover that all isn’t what it seems in this mile-a-minute comedy that uses innovative lighting and media techniques to get into the brain of the master detective. 'F*cking brilliant!' (Tyson Jackson).