Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hansom Cab Killer (Winnipeg Fringe)

by Edgar Governo

Anyone who might be concerned that a lack of familiarity with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s work will get in the way of enjoying this show has nothing to worry about—it ultimately has almost nothing to do with its literary inspiration, even as it shows a clear love for the original source material.

Christopher Bange is perhaps best known on the Fringe circuit for his work with Jonah von Spreecken in The Excursionists, a comedic take on Victorian adventure in the Jules Verne mode, and his take on the world’s greatest consulting detective (or is he?) is similarly both whimsical and affectionate. Holmes is joined, as always, by his trusty sidekick Dr Watson (Brian Kuwabara), but also finds his loyal housekeeper Mrs Hudson (Emily Windler) showing up when he least expects it.

All three cast members bring a loose and freewheeling energy to the proceedings, managing quick changes between characters while keeping a light tone that doesn’t worry too much about a stray costume piece or a wig falling briefly out of place. Even the conspicuous mid-show departure of a group of patrons led to an amusing improvised exchange between Holmes and Watson at the performance I attended.

Despite the silly approach, the heart of the plot is a true mystery that pleased this fan of the Sherlockian canon, and the show ends on a cliffhanger promising further adventures to come.


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