Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four

Reviewer's Rating

This adaptation of a Sherlock Holmes classic is as straightforward as it gets. The whole play is refreshingly natural. Everything from the costumes to the set and the props is exactly what is expected of a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle retelling. Especially the thoughtful design of the clothes (Naomi Gibbs), which helps to create this familiar historical-murder-mystery atmosphere.

Whether you are a first row Sherlock fan or new to the subject, this play will keep you captured. The Blackeyed Theatre provided an ideal cast for each and every character. Time flies by from start to end, and it is a joy to watch Holmes (Luke Barton) find his conclusions. His whole act leaves no doubt about the authenticity of the well-known mystery-solver. The peculiar, yet heartwarming Holmes is portrayed amazingly.

But not only Luke Barton, but every single member of the cast convinces with their performances. Zack Lee delivers the climax of the story in an amazingly capturing performance and the musical talents of the cast members are a good addition to the whole show.

Another main point of praise is the lovely use of music intervals in the background and between scenes. This played an important part for the audiences’ immersion in a different time, as well as giving the story the right touch of drama.

The floor of the stage is covered in an enchanting white and blue mosaic, surrounded by plain but beautiful oriental-inspired furniture. While the first half of the play is completely set in the UK, and it is not until the second part that the story actually moves to India, it is a subtle way to keep reminding the audience of the theme of the story. The only slight downside of the floor design is that the pattern makes the chalk outline of a body difficult to spot. However, that is a very minor shortcoming.

The play deserves five stars, as the Blackeyed Theatre managed to stage a British classic without feeling repetitive in any way. A delightful two hours!