ED2013 2/5 Reviews ED2013 Theatre Reviews

The Sign Of Four (FreeRange Productions)

By | Published on Wednesday 14 August 2013

Conan Doyle’s classic tale of international intrigue, locked-door mystery and dubious stereotypes is ripe for an energetic retelling. Unfortunately FreeRange Productions don’t get it quite right, never settling on a tone and ending up somewhere between faithful adaptation and comic pantomime. David Gurney makes an unusually genial, professorial Holmes, while Jake Wilson’s dapper Watson swivels between over-eager student and lovelorn puppy dog.  The supporting cast, though committed, tend to overplay it, leaning towards yelping deliveries and underwhelming mugging. Their well-timed asides and silly sight gags fail to lift a production labouring under the weight of exposition and lack of momentum. Despite the company’s obvious flair and enthusiasm, by the end this performance shows few signs of life.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 25 Aug (not 13), 1.00pm.
tw rating 2/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]