Lending itself more towards the recent TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch, this gritty, hard-hitting play was a more outspoken drama than one might have expected when going to watch Sherlock.  I have to admit I don’t know much about the character and maybe, a little naively, I was expecting the deerstalker and pipe not substance abuse and brandy so I was quite in shock initially... Although, I do believe that it does feature in the original books. 

Mark Jones, who wrote the play, also directed it and it was clear he had chosen a mesmerising leading man in David Reid who had you transfixed on his next move from start to finish. Reid really excelled at the role of ‘Holmes’ and handled the constant agony of addiction well.  He had a commanding presence and the audience seem to warm to him straight away.

Ably assisting Holmes as he always did was Dr John Watson, played by Bobby Walsh...  Apart from a couple of blunders in one of his opening monologues (nerves I presume), Walsh was extremely likeable and acted well as second in command and part of the household of 221B Baker Street...

A household that would not be complete without the Irish lilt of Siobhan Edge’s wonderful character Mrs Hudson.  Housekeeper extraordinaire and am dram enthusiast, her ‘love’ for her boss was evident when an incident takes place that sees Holmes in trouble, even though she will never admit it. Edge played Mrs Hudson very well and her comedic timing was super. 

It’s very difficult to learn a role under any circumstances but to learn several and play them all very differently and have people believing them, is darn near impossible, but Chris Franic managed it and managed it well..  For me his portrayal of father and son were brilliant. But I won’t say more as you will need to watch to understand and I don’t want to ruin it.

The rest of the company acted well and those who took on multiple roles, did so very well, I applaud you all.

Sound and lighting no issues, and as it was set in modern day there was no real costume to speak of but what there was, was appropriate.

Now, unfortunately my tone changes a little when I speak of the language being used.   I do believe there was far too much swearing... Trying to prove that it’s the ‘done’ thing nowadays and that it is what everyone does every other word, did not sit well with me, my plus one or a couple of the audience members behind me that murmured every time it was used.  It was not necessary and in particular, was disturbing in the Lady Brackenstall scene.  No Lady, be it of title or otherwise, would use that kind of language.  I feel that scene could perhaps do with some work and needs polishing.  Other than that fairly well written with dashes of comedy here and there, to help lighten the overall dark story. 

‘Highs’ and lows during this production will certainly keep you guessing.   Well done to all involved and enjoy the rest of your week.

The production continues until the 24th February at Chorley Little Theatre http://www.chorleylittletheatre.com/chorleytheatre/index.php/event/561-cados-play

Reviewer: Hazel Bumby

Reviewed: 19th February, 2018