Karl Graboshas (l), Jay Baruchel Photo by: Andrée LanthierNot So Elementary
by Caitlin Murphy
Sherlock Holmes adaptations are in ready supply these days. With Guy Ritchie’s frenetic films, the modern-day BBC series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and the NYC-set Elementary, featuring Watson as a woman, we seem quite culturally obsessed at the moment with re-imagining Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic sleuth. Not surprisingly, this populous terrain is hard to stand out in. Though the Segal Centre’s highly-anticipated production is sumptuous and boasts incredible technical prowess, its trail ultimately runs cold.
The show’s claim to being the hottest ticket in town though is of course its star, Jay Baruchel.
From a technical and design standpoint, Sherlock Holmes is a triumph. There is so much to thrill the senses: stunning projections with full-stage coverage evoke cityscapes, train stations, rainy nights at the docks, busy London streets, seedy slums and lush manors. We watch as surreal patterns meant to conjure an opium den ‘draw’ themselves onto flats. Video design by George Allister and Patrick Andrew Boivin (who also created projections for the Centaur / NAC co-production, Innocence Lost) is simply breath-taking. A scene set on a train speeding in and out of tunnels, plunging us into and out of darkness, was also brilliantly executed – a perfect alchemy of the play’s technical and design teams’ genius. Indeed, often such elaborately technical sequences felt like theatre boldly defending itself against the assumed superiority of film.
To May 28