Spoofing Sherlock Holmes in Bognor!

The Hound of the Baskervilles Bersted Arts 2018
The Hound of the Baskervilles Bersted Arts 2018

Sherlock Holmes gets the spoof treatment in a production heading to Bognor’s Regis Centre from Thursday, October 11-Saturday, October 13.

Presented by Bersted Arts, in association with Arun Arts, The Hound of the Baskervilles will offer a cheeky, fast-paced and funny spin on the great detective’s greatest case at the venue’s Little Alex. Will Hackett, James Etheridge, Paul Garnham and Bex Harrison will take on a multitude of parts in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most celebrated adventure – directed by Michael Gattrell.

When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on his estate, with a look of terror still etched on his face and the paw prints of a gigantic hound beside his body, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson must unravel the mysteries surrounding his demise and investigate the ancient curse of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Will, who will be playing Holmes, said: “This is our second production. We did The 39 Steps two years ago. We had a lot on last year. We launched Choirfest last year, and it took up a lot of our time. At that point we just concentrated on that. But now we can think about drama again. The drama will grow, but really for the moment we wanted to do something that would not take up too much time and that was easy to cast. We enjoy working with smaller and larger casts, but we had to think of the practicalities this time around, especially as we had a fairly-short rehearsal period. We didn’t want to do anything too big. Basically the show is a spoof of The Hound of the Baskervilles, one of his most celebrated novels. It is very fast-paced and comical. You really don’t have to think too much about it. It is one of those comedies where you can just sit back and relax and laugh.

"I am playing Holmes and because of the way it is written, it is all a little bit slapstick and a little bit silly and very comedic. I guess he is a caricature of Sherlock Holmes, over-emphasising some of his traits, things like his approach to solving crime and his relationship with Watson. It is the way he analyses things.

"He is very analytical and very logical. It is difficult because Sherlock Holmes obviously was written in a serious way and there are not many comedy references! But it is about bringing all that out, and it is coming together well. We are rehearsing hard. Every rehearsal you are trying something new and experimenting, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but it is taking shape very nicely.”

As for the future: “It would be good to do something yearly at least. It depends on the success of this one, but we would love to grow it and look at future projects and maybe larger casts and a bigger venue, maybe use the full stage rather than the studio stage we have got.”

Tickets on 01243 861010 or www.regiscentre.co.uk. Performances are 7.30pm with a 2.30pm Sat matinee.

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