2018 Victoria Fringe Festival Sherlock Holmes, Where are You? & The Curse of Moriarty

26 Aug

nullLocation:
Langham Court Theatre
805 Langham Ct
Victoria, BC

Remaining Showtimes:
Aug 26, 4:30pm
Aug 31, 9:00pm
Sept 1, 4:00pm

  • Spoiler Alert

Tickets can be purchased online here.

Outpost 31‘s theatrical productions are a regular feature at the Victoria Fringe Festival, and I hope room is always going to be made for their shows. This year will see them expanding beyond, with their take on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at Theatre Inconnu. Their productions have a wonderful sense of connecting with the sensibilities from the era to which they are set in. With Winnie the Pooh, children were hiding from the chaos of World War I; the stories they were telling each other saw stuffed dolls come to life. To present Casino Royale with sounds effects recreated live made me revisit old time radio. Leer simply made Hell look sexy.

This year, this theatre company is looking at everything Sir Arthur Conan Doyle imbued into the character of Sherlock Holmes. Was he just simply overzealous? Was he mad? Just what makes this character tick? Just who he is gets explored for half of the play. From his first meeting of him to those final days, apparently, M15 (a secret service, and yes, from James Bond) is asking where did he disappear off to? Through flashbacks, the story unfolds as a trip through memory lane.

David Biltek plays the older version of Watson. Ian Simms plays the younger version, and while part the show is a slow drama about relationships, the even more exciting bit gets wonderfully supernatural. Dead men tell no tales and in the case of this work, nearly every historical and literary reference about the horrors coming from the Victorian age gets referenced. I had to laugh at them asking if silver bullets will kill. The Hound of the Baskerville is not what Sherlock faced, but rather another mysterious figure.

Trevor Hinton‘s take on Holmes is very different from other interpretations. There’s an instability to suggest the detective never was just a very smart individual. The over-zealousness shows. Plus, I will never forget seeing this actor mooning the audience in Launch Pad’s Halloween show, Dracula: Blood is the Life.

David Elendune knows the source materials he is referencing. Victorian age literature was not limited to Doyle, but also Charles Dickens, Emily Brontë, and Bram Stoker. My fascination is in how the era is perfect to tell a sordid tale of terror. In this age, a lot of change was coming with no thanks from the war. Some turned to occultism to get answers. With no surprise, Holmes was caught in the thick of it, and Doyle seldom interjected a paranormal foe for his hero to face (despite his personal interest in the subject).

To insert another popular work from this era only made me grin. I recognized a few quotes from these other authors and while not everyone will notice, I understood why they were used. Connie McConnell almost stole the show because I loved this “other mad character” just as much as all the studies were done on him. This production is a Victorian Age Horror enthusiast’s wet dream come true. I’m not being dirty about it, but let’s just say with switching the “villains” gender roles in this piece, I feel a lot about this detective’s “aversion to women” is explored. The performances suggest he did have a particular orientation and just where this goes earns my highest praise.

5 Stars out of 5

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