‘Baskerville’ is a great comedic mystery with superb acting

By Donna McMillan

LIGHTHOUSE Festival Theatre’s stage has been magically transformed into the eerily, foggy moors of Devonshire and some equally mysterious corners of London for award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.”
We have superb acting in this comedic version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic tale “The Hounds of the Baskervilles.”
The music is ominous on a dark and stormy night as yet another Baskerville, Sir Charles this time, dies under suspicious circumstances. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are called to the case to solve this Scotland Yard mystery before the newly arrived heir, Sir Henry Baskerville of Texas, complete with cowboy hat, boots, gun and western twang, meets his demise.
It’s a classic tale of good vs evil, rather Holmes and Watson vs evil, with plenty of comedic injections. This play runs until August 12.
Two actors play the famous duo brilliantly. Stephen Sparks, a veteran LFT performer who has also worked on most major stages across the country is Sherlock. Jamie Williams, also known to LFT audiences is Watson.
Costuming throughout the play is creatively perfect for this period piece.
And then there is a cast of thousands. Or, it seems like thousands, but is really 40 roles, all played in a madcap, quick change, fast paced, accent varied fashion by three amazing actors.
Kudos to each for their convincing multiple characters, their perfect comedic timing and the great colour they added to the multiple layers of the story.
Mairi Babb is Actor 1. She most recently performed in Ladies Foursome. Mark McGrinder, also a Lighthouse veteran, is Actor 2. Adrian Shepherd plays Actor 3, including the cowboy heir, and has been seen by LFT audiences in Perfect Wedding.
LFT Artistic Director Derek Ritschel is Director for this play and gave credit to the Creative and Production Teams for their hard work.
They included: William Chesney (Set Designer), Eileen Earnshaw (Costume Designer), Wendy Greenwood (Lighting Designer), Brian Brockenshire (Fight Director), Kevin Olson (Stage Manager), Michael Panich (Assistant Stage Manager), Loralie Pollard (Apprentice Assistant Stage Manager), Sara Pasmore (Production Manager), Meg Woods (Technical Director), Shaw Forgeron (Head of Props), Anneliese Moens (Head of Lighting), Hailey Parker (Head of Sound), Madeline Samms (Head of Paint), Leanne Rich (Production Assistant), Sandy Thi (Head of Wardrobe and Roni Clark (Stitcher).
Scotiabank was the Production Sponsor for Baskerville and Norfolk News, Media Production Sponsor.
There is no spoiler alert in this review. Everyone needs to put on their deerstalker cap and head to the theatre to find out the ending and in Ken Ludwig’s words — enjoy the “joyous energy” of the play. It’s “a lark, kind of a hoot.”
For tickets, visit the Lighthouse Festival Theatre Box Office at the corner of Main and Market in Port Dover, call 519 – 583 – 2221 or online at lighthousetheatre.com

Posted: August 2, 2017

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