A Sherlock Carol ★★★★ Marylebone Theatre | Nov 18, 2022 - Jan 7, 2023

If part of your annual Christmas tradition is a dip into Dickens' great classic tale, you'll definitely enjoy this new version with its Sherlock Holmes twist. Since the death of his arch-enemy, Moriarty, the great detective has lost his way and the joy has gone out of his life. Not only has he abandoned his passion for solving crimes, but he seems to have no Christmas spirit. On top of this, the supreme rationalist, Holmes, is faced with the mysterious death of the elderly, now-reformed Ebenezer Scrooge while at the same time being haunted by a spirit whom he refuses to believe in. This is all great fun and the show combines the convoluted plot of a Dickens' novel with all the twists and turns of a Conan Doyle mystery. Ben Caplan does a wonderful job as the grumpy and obsessive Holmes who is gradually lured back to the world of detection and into the spirit of the season. He is well supported by Richard James in a wide variety of roles, from Dr. Watson to Scrooge's hilarious housekeeper. The rest of the cast are equally strong. Rosie Armstrong is excellent as the Countess and Holmes' love interest, Irene Adler while Gemma Laurie and Damian Lynch do fine turns as Emma Wiggins and Dr Cratchit. Suffice to say, Kammy Darweish is suitably jolly as Scrooge. As a director, Mark Shanahan sets a good pace and ensures that the audience's interest never flags, despite the complexity of the story. With A Sherlock Carol, he has written a lovely seasonal homage to both of the great 19th century authors while adding a delightful new staple to our holiday celebration.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Danny Kaan.

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