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Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper Murders - UK Tour Review

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by ABC Writer (subscribe)
Freelance journalist with a passion for theatre, the arts, food and books.
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Jack The Ripper Meets Baker Street Hero
Sherlock Holmes fans have been spoilt in recent years with the excellent BBC TV drama Sherlock featuring Benedict Cumberbatch a cut above most other portrayals of the iconic pipe-smoking detective.

Even with that in mind and giving a bit of leeway, this Talking Scarlet production was a very poor tale involving the super-intelligent Baker Street hero.

Sherlock Holmes and the Ripper Murders, uk tour, talking scarlet
A new Sherlock Holmes tale on tour

I caught Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper Murders early on during its UK tour at Malvern's Festival Theatre.

It is also visits Crewe in the Midlands before going further afield to cities including Inverness and Croydon before it's final stop-off in Blackpool.

Billed as a 'grisly' murder mystery, it was anything but and its rather dated sound effects even made the audience giggle when Jack The Ripper whipped out his knife.

This play wasn't one of the original Conan Doyle stories but based on a more modern book that sees Holmes & Dr Watson drawn into the Whitechapel prostitute murders of Victorian London.

Sherlock Holmes and the ripper murders, uk tour,
An underwhelming characterisation of Sherlock Holmes

While the plot and motive of this case were quite clever, the characterisation fell short. The script by Brian Clemens diluted Holmes' grand intelligence.

Gone was Holmes' enviable brilliance, his sharp edge and that special sense of genius. Instead the iconic detective was reduced to an amiable, sensitive fellow cooing over a new love interest.

Added to that, it was a slow-paced, tiresome show that lacked the thrills, spills and suspense of a who-dunnit.

The stage was simple too, using a backdrop of basic video graphics and dramatic, creepy music. Unfortunately, the music is also used as a time-filler and pads things out for at least a quarter of the show.

Sherlockholmes and the ripper murders, uk tour
Popular names feature in the show

Surprisingly, there are a couple of well known names in this show, including Andrew Paul (one-time PC Quinnan in The Bill and Dan Jones in Coronation Street), Neil Roberts (Holby) and Kim Taylforth (London's Burning and Bad Girls).

Rather than the gripping crime capers and puzzles Holmes has become famous for, this production was a study in tediousness.

Rating: 3/10

Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper Murders
Tickets cost from 9.50

July 21 - 25 - Malvern Festival Theatre
Malvern Theatres, Grange Road, Malvern, Worcestershire, WR14 3HB

August 3 - 5 - Lyceum Theatre, Crewe
Heath Street, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 2DA

August 6 - 8 - Eden Court Theatre and Cinema, Inverness
Bishop's Road, Inverness, Highland, IV3 5SA

August 11 - 15 - Swansea Grand Theatre
Singleton Street, Swansea, SA1 3QJ

August 24 - 26 - Buxton Opera House
Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN

October 12 - 13 - Marina Theatre, Lowestoft
The Marina, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1HH

October 15 - Millennium Forum, Theatre, Londonderry
3 Newmarket Street, Londonderry, BT48 6EB

October 21 - 24 - Fairfield Halls, Croydon
Park Lane, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1DG

November 3 - 7 - Blackpool Grand Theatre
33 Church Street, Blackpool, FY1 1HT

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When: Touring until November 2015
Phone: 07971 064989
Where: UK Tour - Malvern, Crewe, London, Blackpool
Cost: From 9.50
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