Theatre Review: “The Hound of the Baskervilles”
Matthew Mitchell, Adam Turck, and David Clark in “The Hounds of the Baskervilles.” Photo by Jay Paul.
There’s a murderous hound loose on The Moor in Virginia Repertory Theatre’s hilarious “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” Matthew Mitchell, David Clark and Adam Turck play 16 roles in this production of the play by Steve Canny and John Nicholson, adapted from the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Matthew Mitchell plays world-renowned detective Sherlock Holmes and much to my delight is paired up again with his sidekick from “The Liar,” David Clark, who plays Dr.Watson. Mitchell has definitely become a favorite to watch for me as he truly commits to ever character he plays (8 in this particular show). Clark is perfect as the oafish and humble foil to Mitchell’s larger than life portrayal of Holmes and I very much enjoyed seeing these two talented actors together again.
Adam Turck plays several members of the Baskerville family, most notably Sir Henry Baskerville, who takes Watson to his family’s home, Baskerville Hall, to investigate a mysterious death that has occurred there. All three gentlemen are brilliant at physical comedy and this production definitely requires a lot of it. There is a particularly entertaining scene where Turck, playing the eccentric Dr. Mortimer, uses hand puppets to illustrate to Holmes and Watson the tale of the Baskerville Hound. Turck has a knack for facial expressions and uses them skillfully to convey his characters’ emotions.
The set by Terrie Powers is minimal yet extremely functional and the attention to detail is reflective of what I have come to expect from this talented designer. There are several props that will make you chuckle when you see them brought out on stage. The set is complimented well by Gary Hopper’s expert direction, as the actors manipulate the set very easily as they zip in and out of doors and through curtains.
The costumes designed by Sue Griffin are very well made and adapt well to the enormous amount of costume changes required by this production’s dynamic staging. And we cannot forget the lighting design by K. Jenna Ferree which was magnificent. One of my favorite scenes is when Watson and Sir Henry are on the train and the lights go in and out to indicate a lapse in time and possibly the passage through a dark tunnel.
One highlight of this production is definitely the interaction the actors have with the audience. Especially the scene that takes place right after intermission — it’s comedic gold! Overall I found “The Hound of the Baskervilles” to be an exciting, funny and visually interesting start to Virginia Rep’s Barksdale Season at Hanover Tavern.
“The Hound of the Baskervilles” is playing through October 14th at historical Hanover Tavern. For tickets and more information, visit www.va-rep.org
Jen Maciulewicz is theatre critic for GAYRVA.com and is a Richmond local. Jen attended VCU and holds a B.S. in Anthropology. She has starred as Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes" and attended VCU’s School of Music. Follow Jen on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jenlaumac.
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