17 May 2018

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain at Rose Theatre

Often the programming at Rose Theatre confuses me and this was a case in point. As an almost templated touring theatre production I would have expected to see it at Richmond Theatre but it popped up at Rose Theatre which does not really do that sort of thing.

One problem with it being at Rose was the ticket price. My usual seat Stalls A41 cost £35, somewhat less than most Rose productions these days, whereas I usually get a discount at Richmond, due to my ATG Theatre Card, which usually takes the price down below £30. The view is much better at Richmond too as the seats are adjacent to the stage whereas at the Rose they are placed some distance from it.

I went with few expectations other than to enjoy more fine performances by Robert Powell and Liza Goddard, which was good enough reason to venture out for the evening.

Sherlock Holmes is a difficult character to do well partially because of the expectations set by the recent TV series and partially because of all the other adaptations that had gone before. I felt this production struggled against those expectations a little, particularly in the short first-half, where not that much happened of a Sherlock nature other than his analysis of a corpse in the opening scene.

The second half was much better and I really got into both the main story (the ghostly appearance of Watson's dead son) and also Sherlock's musing on his age and life. Moriarty and Mycroft were in there too.

Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain was never going to set the world on fire, nor did it expect to, and it was perfectly content being a solid piece of theatre that entertained. Average may be, but a high average.

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