The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Review – Knaresborough Castle

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By Katie Leon, July 2018

It was a warm and sunny Sunday evening when my husband and I laid down our picnic blanket, ready to enjoy this Chapterhouse production of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes at Knaresborough Castle.

We’d arrived early and managed to secure a great spot right at the front and in the centre. I was initially surprised that the play did not incorporate Knaresborough Castle and was actually staged in the opposite direction so it wasn’t even in sight. This seemed a bit of a shame, but I soon got over it as it was still exciting to watch an outdoor production.

The audience members had brought either picnic blankets or chairs to sit on. Blankets were allowed at the front and chairs further back. We had brought both but opted for the blanket so we could be at the front. Before the play started, members of the cast came around selling raffle tickets for the interval, so we bought a strip.

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“Twists and turns”

The environment was very intimate and informal, there was a bit of chatter in the background during some of the play but nothing too invasive. Dog walkers often walked past the set and stopped to look on with delight. What a lovely surprise for their evening walk!

The set was very small and there was a cast of just six people. It was a basic set so it was really down to the incredible talents of the cast to convince us of the different characters and settings during the story. Most of this was done very convincingly, with the exception of one dodgy North East accent.

The story had the classic traits of Sherlock Holmes; mystery, excitement and lots of wit! There were plenty of twists and turns and despite some cast members playing different characters, I was engaged in the story throughout, even when there was quite a loud drone above us for a while!

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“Arch enemy”

In the story, Sherlock had to confront his fears and came face to face with his arch enemy. Some of the props were comical such as the dead body being some sort of stuffed toy, which really added to the humour of the show.

During the interval, there was ice cream on sale and the cast carried out the all-important raffle. This was a lovely extra and a good bit of fun – and I’m not just saying that because I won the wine!

What I really liked about this production was how the light changed as the sun went down. This really added to the atmosphere of the play and it was nice to see how the set changed with the lighting.

I would love to see another Chapterhouse production and would highly recommend it to anyone who gets the chance to go.


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