The play's afoot! Watermill reopens with outdoor Sherlock Holmes comedy

The Berkshire theatre will ‘conjure some joy’ with a new version of The Hound of the Baskervilles performed by a cast of three

On the trail of a devilish beast in Dartmoor, Sherlock Holmes is said to “burst into one of his rare fits of laughter” in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Arthur Conan Doyle’s tale of fog and fangs has been hilariously spoofed on screen with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore and in a blissfully silly stage version by Peepolykus. Now, a new comedy version will be performed in the outdoors – not in Devon but Newbury, where it will reopen the Watermill theatre this month.

A version of the mystery, devised by the Watermill company, will be performed by three actors on the back lawn of the rural Berkshire theatre. Socially distanced audiences will watch from an arrangement of 20 tables that each seat up to four people from one party only. Tickets cost £100 per table. The restaurant will serve pre-show dinner and cream teas will be available after matinee performances.

The roles in The Hound of the Baskervilles will be shared by Victoria Blunt, Rosalind Lailey and James Mack. Suitable for over-eights, the show will run from 29 July to 8 August. A concert version of Lerner and Loewe’s Arthurian musical Camelot, performed by actor-musicians, will run in the Watermill’s gardens from 17–29 August.

Paul Hart, the artistic director of the Watermill, said: “I’m immensely proud of the team who have worked day and night to make this happen. I’ve been moved by theatres up and down the country working their socks off to create inspired work and community projects in impossible circumstances and I’m so looking forward to us conjuring some joy this summer.”

The Watermill usually stages 12 new productions annually. Boris Johnson’s announcement in March that the public should avoid theatres came on the press night for its new musical, The Wicker Husband.


Chris Wiegand

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Potted Sherlock review – the whole Holmes is a little too elementary
It’s hard to see the joke in this ridiculous comedy if you know nothing of Conan Doyle’s many original stories, writes Lyn Gardner

Lyn Gardner

05, Jan, 2015 @1:36 PM

Article image
A Sherlock Carol review – the detective takes on Dickens in a fresh festive mashup
There’s only one sleuth in Victorian London who can get to the bottom of the suspicious death of Ebenezer Scrooge, in this winning crossover mystery

Arifa Akbar

25, Nov, 2022 @9:56 AM

Article image
Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear review – an elegant last adventure
Effectively filmed for streaming audiences in a sharply told adaptation, this adventure stars Luke Barton as the bumptious master detective

Arifa Akbar

03, Nov, 2022 @8:00 AM

Article image
Deerstalkers and devil dogs: Sherlock Holmes hits stage at the double
In Liverpool and London, theatres are celebrating Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles. Cue thrills, invention – and howls of laughter

Lyn Gardner

29, Dec, 2017 @1:34 PM

Article image
Sherlock Holmes: An Online Adventure review – it's so fun who cares whodunnit?
It’s a ball playing sleuth – with Dr Watson’s help – even if you don’t identify the killer in this interactive show

Arifa Akbar

24, Feb, 2021 @10:30 PM

Article image
Sherlock Holmes: The Hound of the Baskervilles review – the great detective, plus banjos
Conan Doyle’s hero stalks the moors in the company of travelling music-hall turns in an appealing family show that requires deductive powers to keep track of who’s who

Alfred Hickling

03, Aug, 2016 @12:32 PM

Article image
From Hamlet to Hullabaloo: what to see as theatres and comedy clubs reopen
As stage shows return, we pick the best post-lockdown offerings – featuring Egyptian gods, rebelling vicars, dancing youths ... and Ian McKellen playing the Dane at 82

Arifa Akbar (theatre), Brian Logan (comedy), Lyndsey Winship (dance)

16, May, 2021 @2:00 PM

Article image
Othello review – taut update from the superb Watermill ensemble
An excellent cast animate Karla Marie Sweet’s adaptation with a drilled menace, while contemporary songs are employed to remarkable effect

Gareth Llŷr Evans

23, Sep, 2022 @12:19 PM

Article image
Bleak Expectations review – Radio 4’s Dickens parody bursts on to the stage
This fast-paced comedy mashup of the great Victorian novelist sends up Britishness with oodles of silliness

Arifa Akbar

05, Jun, 2022 @11:50 AM

Sherlock Holmes in Trouble, Royal Exchange, Manchester

Royal Exchange, Manchester

Alfred Hickling

31, Jul, 2003 @11:52 AM