Exeter, Devon UK • Apr 24, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit Theatre Review: Sherlock Holmes- The Valley of Fear

Theatre Review: Sherlock Holmes- The Valley of Fear

Emily Sara Rizzo review Sherlock Holmes- The Valley of Fear at the Northcott Theatre
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Theatre Review: Sherlock Holmes- The Valley of Fear

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Emily Sara Rizzo review Sherlock Holmes- The Valley of Fear at the Northcott Theatre

When faced with the prospect of a bleak and rainy Monday evening, what better way is there to kill the time than to treat yourself to a trip to the theatre? As someone who hasn’t sat in front of a stage since the scandalously juvenile age of 10, this reviewer jumped at the opportunity to be reintroduced to the world of Sherlock Holmes as a theatre spectacle. Drawing a varied audience of older couples and the odd youngster to our very own Northcott Theatre, the play promised an air of family friendly fun right from the outset.

As soon as the lights were dimmed and a general air of expectation hushed the crowd, the cast came on stage and gave us a brief but intense taste of what was to come, leaving the intriguing words “wheels within cogs within wheels” echoing as we prepared for the narrative journey to come.

As soon as the lights were dimmed and a general air of expectation hushed the crowd, the cast came on stage and gave us a brief but intense taste of what was to come

Flickering between a British crime scene and a Pennsylvanian valley under the control of a villainous brotherhood of gangsters, the fast-paced story kept us hooked and alert for the following two hours. The suspense kept us questioning how the two parts were linked and what role the characters (both new and comfortingly familiar ones) play in these settings, whilst the dazzling switch between characters and accents – yes, the wide variety of accents was arguably the best part of the play – never failed to keep us hooked on every spoken word. Just as a straight-forward ending seemed to be in sight, action packed twists revealed nothing was as simple as it seemed and re-invigorated our sense of mystery and adrenaline, quite literally making the woman sat next to this particular reviewer jump to attention in time for the final coup de theatre.

As the lights came back on and the cast bowed out, the rush of appreciation that came from the crowd proved the play had achieved what it had set out to do, keeping all of us entertained and replenishing our admiration for the magic of the theatre. In remodelling a Sherlock Holmes story for the stage, the intrigue gained a new level of intensity, pulling the audience in and placing us alongside our favourite detective with some clever stage tricks to bring all sorts of settings to life within the confines of that platform.

As the lights came back on and the cast bowed out, the rush of appreciation that came from the crowd proved the play had achieved what it had set out to do,

By peppering the play with comical moments and hints of something that went beyond this one mystery – the Holmes/Watson and Holmes/Moriarty dynamics are well-loved tropes – the world took on a three-dimensional feel and ticked all the boxes for a successful evening at the theatre; cast, crew and audience all came together, like “wheels within cogs within wheels”, to bring an old story back to life and to bring some cheer to a rainy Monday night.  

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