Theatre review: Broken Holmes


THIS is an enjoyably farcical romp, in which the famous sleuth and his faithful sidekick tackle a mystery that throws up a few pertinent questions over why Dr Watson still hangs around with the emotionally abusive Holmes.

We encounter the pair in Holmes's Baker Street study, the detective castigating Watson for the leaden prose of his casebook. What's more, it appears Holmes has forgotten Watson's birthday, prompting a hissy fit from the good doctor. But this entertaining lovers' tiff is put to one side as the duo are called in to assist in the baffling case of a murdered duke.

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Holmes horses into the opiates, laying a wager with Watson that he'll have the case solved before he comes down from his high. However, as the mists surrounding the murder begin to clear, there are devastating revelations that will test their relationship to its limit.

Canavan Connolly plays Watson with more than a nod to Basil Fawlty, while James Bober is deliciously arrogant as the drug-addled detective, and there's plenty of scene-stealing from Patrick Spragg as the bumbling Inspector Lestrade.

Robin Johnson's script, while demonstrating a detailed knowledge of Conan Doyle's original tales, is an irreverent joy, and its hilarious denouement an absolute jaw-dropper.

• Until 22 August. Today 10:10pm.

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