Howling family fun: Watson grabs limelight in Hound of the Baskervilles

The Hound of the Baskervilles which is at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, from November 9-13

The Hound of the Baskervilles, starring Jake Ferretti, Niall Ransome, which is at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, from November 9-13 - Credit: Pamela Raith

Sherlock Holmes' sidekick John Watson grabbed the limelight at a farce adaptation of the Hound of the Baskervilles in Ipswich. 

Howling laughter greeted the three-person comedy ensemble at the New Wolsey Theatre when it opened on Tuesday, November 9. 

This version was silly from the outset with a pre-safety announcement by the cast hinting at someone possibly dying at previous productions, which was directed on tour by Tim Jackson, who directed The Season at the New Wolsey in 2019.

The audience made up of families, and children loved the panto-like story of the detectives unravelling the mystery surrounding the untimely death of Sir Charles Baskerville.

There were lots of occasions when the characters broke the fourth wall when things appeared to go wrong - like when one of the actors appeared so overwhelmed the intermission was called or when the first act had to be done at speed. 

The famous detective Mr Holmes was mainly absent while his companion, Dr Watson, played by Niall Ransome, served as the narrator and village idiot in this retelling of the most famous Sir Arthur Conan Doyle book. 

At times Dr Watson seemed to figure out the whole thing while other times seemed confused whenever Mr Holmes was in disguise. 

Most Read

Mr Holmes, played by Jake Ferretti, and Sir Henry Baskerville, played by Serena Manteghi, also have to take on several other characters in the play, which ends in some delightful confusion over hats, wigs and how to do a scene and play two roles. 

While the rumours of a cursed giant hound loose on the moors serve as the central point, sideline plots like Mr Feretti's romances as Beryl Ducerne Stapleton with Sir Henry, contains lots of elements of the ridiculous. 

The use of props and effects were quite impressive as well for a small production, particularly when bodies fell from the ceiling and the smoke machine was well used. 

As a hit in the West End, this ingenious adaptation claims to combine an exhilarating collision of farce, theatrical invention and wonderfully comic performances to offer a brand-new twist on the greatest detective story of all time.

Tickets are available from the New Wolsey’s online box office. The show runs until November 13.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter