Reviewed: Sherlock Holmes Secret Life

Review time! Yes I have work tomorrow, the full-time kind; yes, I have more pressing matters; yes, I already blogged a few hours ago; but if I didn’t write this now, I know I will never get around to doing this.

So this evening – last evening technically given that it is already twenty-two minutes after twelve am, lols – my sister and I went to watch Sherlock Holmes Secret Life by Ed Lange a presentation by Silent Hands Creative Circle.

I’m a huge patron, believer and (I like to think) practitioner (that word took a whole load of guesses and a dictionary consultation) of the Arts with theatre being an all time priority and favourite. I don’t ‘practice’ theatre in terms of acting, but I do enjoy anything that goes behind the stage from costumes, to props, to sets, to logistical requirements such as tea or anything else I can do within my capacity. Naturally, I would enjoy a good play.

Except that I didn’t. Eek. I was quite let down to be honest. My last play was Mohamed Adamaly’s adaptation of 39 Steps. I didn’t think much of the plot construction for some reason, it was a little out of context for a local audience, I felt, but was utterly taken up by the sets, theatrics and utilisation of the stage. A review on that is due too. So having watched that play last, and coming and watching this, I was naturally disappointed.

To start with, I don’t know why Silent Hands did Sherlock. I don’t know where the ‘Creative Circle’ part came from either. The Silent Hands I know gave me comedy. From Boeing Boeing to Move Over Mrs Markham to I don’t remember the rest, the cast sent the rows of audience in to fits of laughter. With Sherlock no, I was not expecting to laugh but, the refined British humour and wittiness I would associate Sherlock, Watson and Wodehouse with, was lost on me. Instead I was left with jokes I could only classify as lame. A few nuances were swell though, especially that line from one of Lady Macbeth’s soliloquies. I also thought that one of Watson Snr’s soliloquies was quite brilliantly delivered too. The content in it was sold well, and the topic (on life, youth etc if I remember correct) and tone were sombre and nostalgic. However, besides that the play didn’t quite come together for me. Especially the murder scene. I think we should stick to the good old Aristotelian model of not showing murder on stage. Seriously. It was as bad as Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez embracing in air in Fast and Furious VI. 

I don’t see myself going for another Silent Hands production, unless it’s a comedy. To me, that is their forte and while it’s all good to experiment with genres, being a master of one will always leave you a happier audience.

Given that it is a review, I thought I’ll rate it on the following criteria I usually observe when I do go for a performance. All ratings are on 10. The overall is not an accurately calculated average but a mood metre sort of measure.

  • Acting : 6.5
  • Costumes : 7.5
  • Set and Props : 8 – especially Sherlock’s little hideout
  • Theatrical Devices : 5
  • Sound and Lights : 7
  • The Barthean Quantification of Quality (or overall rating on 10):  5.85



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