Review: The Hound of the Baskervilles
There’s really no mystery on how to stage an entertaining Sherlock Holmes play. It’s pretty elementary, really—just put together an engaging script, a solid cast and creative production elements. That’s just what Sacramento Theatre Company does with its current production of The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Oh, and one other thing—bring back the lead actors from a previous production to reprise their roles as the endearing and quirky characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Once again, the talented pair of William Elsman as Sherlock and Michael RJ Campbell as Watson join up to solve another case, just as they did in the 2011 STC staging of Sherlock Homes: The Final Adventure.
Here, playwrights R. Hamilton Wright and David Pichette have adapted Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most popular tale, The Hound of the Baskervilles, keeping the basic mystery intact while pumping up the chemistry and humor between Holmes and Watson and adding some plot and character twists along the way.
The show starts with a bored Holmes lamenting to Watson that all the recent crimes are pretty uncreative and easily solvable. Then a mystery literally comes knocking on their London door, and the crime-solving duo is off to the moors of Devonshire, where murder, mayhem and a marauding hound await them.
Under the careful directing of Michael Laun, Elsman and Campbell play off each other perfectly, and the rest of the cast members are equally entertaining. What elevates this production even more is its imaginative set, colorful costumes and captivating lighting and sound elements that transport the audience from the streets of London to the dark parlors and foggy moors of a spooky and mysterious English countryside.