Sound & Fury's "Sherlock Holmes"

In Fringes past, Sound & Fury have developed a reputation for their whacky parodies, from Hamlet and Juliet to Lord of the Thrones, and this time they’re here to wreak havoc upon "Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy", Sherlock Holmes. There’s no such thing as the fourth wall here, and the players, Richard Maritzer, Patrick Hercamp and Shane Adamczak, are upfront about the chaos that’s about to ensue. Many of the show’s best laughs come from their madcap improvisation when things go wrong; moments that come right off the bat, such as Hercamp’s light flicking into strobe mode during an otherwise very-terribly atmospheric under-the-face-torch moment. Ill-timed audio and lighting cues provide more fodder for laughs, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell if these are genuine errors, or written into the show.

Plot wise, we’re in familiar terrain here: an aristocratic toff’s been offed and Holmes and Watson have been brought in on the case. Only Holmes, this time, is new to things. Having won the lead role in a pub bet, Hercamp gets to don the famous deerstalker hat and Maritzer, our new Watson, must instead guide him through the case – a particularly difficult task owing to the fact that Hercamp, not wishing to spoil the ending, burned his script. Adamczak is wonderful in a range of roles, from villainous Professor Moriarty to a singing and dancing bank teller, dropping hints and red-herrings along the way. The three have marvellous pantomime energy, and their familiarity with one another allows them to play off each other’s odd errors or strays into improvisation wonderfully. The dialogue is witty, full of puns and excellent word play, and when we do enter into groan territory it is impishly acknowledged: "It’s gonna get worse!"

Sound & Fury's "Sherlock Holmes" is an hour of classic vaudevillian comedy, and an excellent choice for silly and outrageous laughs this Fringe.

★★★½