Rosebud Theatre: Sherlock Holmes & the Case of the Christmas Carol
When you think about it, you wouldn't think a man like Sherlock Holmes would believe in ghosts, especially after he'd sworn he hadn't partaken in his seven percent solution, and perhaps he wouldn't, but how else could you paint him as a Scrooge in this Sherlock Holmes/A Christmas Carol crossover. How playwright John Longenbaugh framed it seemed to work. It was three years after Reichenbach Falls and Scrooge...er Sherlock had distanced himself from his support group - namely Watson and Mrs. Hudson. Then Moriarty visits him. And you must remember, Moriarty had been dead to begin with; else it wouldn't be so surreal.
I liked the exploration into Sherlock's past. It does make sense to me that he tread the boards in his youth. A mind like his is perfect for memorization, if not for truthful characterisation. A lost chance at love matches up with Scrooge's journey. But it is in the present that we learn that Scrooge and Sherlock share a universe. Watson has a friend with a limp called Tim, who tells Watson of an old family friend who did a complete 180 around Christmas time.
It isn't till the future visits that I truly struggled. But first, a fun moment. We are told the play takes place in 1894. WWI is a mere twenty years away. I wondered if I had read any stories of Sherlock during that conflict. Mere moments after I thought that, we were taken to the battlefield. We stayed too long, however. We were witness to the moment when German and English soldiers sang together and exchanged photos and small gifts. But it felt too heavy-handed. The actors stayed truthful in that moment and didn't force the moment; which was a saving grace. And that's a good segue.
Many of the actors were doubled, or tripled, or more. Those who did had distinct characters, and often I couldn't tell which character they had played before. Such strong choices made by all created the world we lived in for 2 or so hours.
I had seen Nathan Schmidt earlier this year in Sherlock Holmes and the American Problem (Vertigo Theatre), and is lovely to see two different Holmes'.
Those who love Sherlock Holmes will appreciate the world built around you. The familiar characters, and the extreme curmudgeonliness of Sherlock. I appreciate the absolute care that Watson has for Sherlock, but also the self-care realization that Tim (once Tiny) advises. Watson had, after all, just lost his wife. We forget Watson in the focus of Sherlock. Those who love the classic Dickens tale will appreciate the ghosts, but also the call-back to the story itself. And, because it is Holmes, there is a mystery to be solved along the way.
Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Carol runs up until December 23
Tickets can be purchased through www.rosebudtheatre.com