Set in the lovely 300 seater Daneside Theatre, Congleton Players’ put on their latest play ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ which is running until 18th June. Directed by David McCaddon and assisted by Wendy Mckie the classic Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s third novel gets a hilarious makeover courtesy of Steve Canny and John Nicholson.
When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on his estate, his friend Dr. James Mortimer summons Sherlock Holmes from Baker Street, with Dr Watson in tow. The look of terror etched on Sir Charles’ face, and the paw prints of a gigantic hound beside his body, the duo are called to unravel the mysteries surrounding his death, and investigate the ancient curse of the Hound of the Baskervilles.
With a cast of three playing all the roles, the comedy and slapstick are in high order and the three actors deliver in spades. I can’t stress just how difficult it is to fall out of one character and into another, their stance, posture, accent, mannerisms, but the three make it look positively simplistic. It’s also often said that comedy/farce is one of the hardest to orchestrate and again it just freely flows which is credit to the actors and directors. A number of times during the play the actors, following the script, break the fourth wall with comedic effect, but also add the odd funny improvised line or two in.
Daniel Wood playing Sir Henry Baskervilles amongst others, adds animated physical comedy with his slapstick delivery, his range of facial expressions was particularly funny and he carried his role off really well. Simon Hoffman plays the famous Sherlock Holmes plus a number of male and female characters and was very funny, passing off the reserved Holmes, but then breaking out into the other characters really well. I think there also may be room for a spin-off ballroom one-night show with Daniel and Simon. Will Vickers plays Dr. Watson plus others, however, mainly Watson and provides the constant presence. His portrayal of the eccentric and bumbling Watson was very good and maintained the essence of it for the entire duration.
The trio together were impressive and you can sense a genuine camaraderie and can tell just how hard they have worked and it certainly paid off. They again add another impressive entry into the Congelton Players’ productions.
The play runs until Saturday 18th and ticket information can be found here as well as pay on the door.
Some photos from the rehearsals are below.