By S Mulvihill
Telling all 60 Sherlock Holmes stories in 70 minutes is possibly the most ambitious undertaking from Dan and Jeff, the duo behind the smash hit ‘Potted Potter’, but they in no way disappoint. From the start the energy, exuberance and imaginativeness of this production delight the audience. Jefferson Turner plays the perfect straight man to Daniel Clarkson’s silliness in this wonderful modern day example of classic farce.
Pitched at a mixed audience of older children and adults the duo are for the first time accompanied by a third actor, Lizzie Wort, who adds a welcome extra dynamic to the stage. They play well on the difficulty of a newcomer brought into a well established act, with Lizzie battling for attention with Jeff while Dan embraces the change in blissful ignorance. The jokes are well pitched, with well performed slapstick for the kids and references to the likes of Dirty Dancing and Big for the parents keeping everyone entertained. The quick costume changes and ensuing mayhem make for a great deal of fun, especially Dan’s Moriarty which is an ingenious mixture of costume and puppetry. The lighting and sound effects, while not especially original in design, are well put to suit the style of the piece.
The idea behind Potted Sherlock is certainly a challenge and if there is to be any criticism it is that occasionally it is all a bit too fast to understand what’s going on. If you’re not already familiar with the tales of Sherlock Holmes you are unlikely to come away anymore illuminated, but to expect to be so would perhaps be to miss the point. This is a 70 minute madcap romp, executed by a company who have perfected the art of farce. Finishing off with an upbeat song (though the lyrics can be tricky to decipher) they leave their crowd more than satisfied.
Until 25th August (not 20th) 14:50 (70mins) at Pleasance One