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Stage West Calgary - Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery



Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery

A Comedy by Ken Ludwig,

I had the opportunity to check out Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery at Stage West. I've been lucky enough to see several shows now, but I think Baskerville has come on top to reign as my favourite. I could gush for hours about this production, but chances are you're only going to read a few lines, then skim the rest, so I'll be as brief as I can.

First the story: as much of a fan as I am of Sherlock, I was only familiar with the modern take of the Baskerville story, so was able to enjoy the twists and turns of the mystery (and there were many!) first hand. With just the right amount of mystery, comedy, and farce, this story really has it all. Let me make something abundantly clear: there were five actors. Saying that, Patrick Brown as Doctor Watson and David Leyshon as Holmes stayed to their characters throughout the night, which left the remaining three to portray every other character, sometimes in a blink of an eye. Not even Holmes could detect a character mishap during the entire production. The actors were seamless in their transitions, even when they told us it was going to happen. Those costume changes were an eight marvel of the modern world.

Despite having Sherlock's name in the title, it really was Watson's story, and Patrick Brown told it quite well. Of course he was supplemented with the rest of the characters, mysterious and hilarious, that rounded off a play well-deserving of all the praise it will collect.

I also have to mention the sound design. Michael Gesy as designer did an amazing job. Paired with excellent blocking, I held my breath as the character walked down a windy road; I was in the typist shop with Holmes and Watson, and I was laughing with the audience as the mire was being discussed with such dramatic flair. I don't think I've ever seen a play so wonderfully paired with sound as this one.

The set design, by JP Thibodeau was another for the books. Functional to make scene changes and location changes happen faster than Holmes could light his pipe, and combined with the direction of Director Mark Bellamy, completely spell-binding at parts.

If you still haven't resorted to skimming, let me clear any mystery there may be remaining and say you should go to this show. It's hilarious, it's entertaining, and it's so, so well done by all involved.

Baskerville runs up until April 15, so follow these clues and let them lead you to Stage West.

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