Reviewed by Dorothy White
I have only been to Windsor once before. Today it looked very beautiful in the afternoon sun with its castle and the River Thames. The Theatre Royal in Windsor is situated very close to Windsor Castle and is very easy to find. There are several car parks close by.
I had no idea what to expect from The Sign of Four, I only knew about it because my 16-year-old granddaughter told me she was studying it for her GCSE English Literature exam. I knew because it was Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and adapted for the stage by Nick Lane, it would be a murder/mystery/thriller. I had read beforehand that it would be “crammed full of adventure, romance and comedy and of course, one or two rather brilliant deductions.” This description was correct!
Sherlock Holmes (Luke Barton) and Dr John Watson (Joseph Derrington) portrayed Holmes and Watson as young men. Mary Morstan (Stephanie Rutherford) arrived at 221B Baker Street to ask for help in finding out what had happened to her missing father.
Four of the six actors taking part in The Sign of Four each played several parts, Stephanie Rutherford (Mary Morstan, Mrs Hudson and Mrs Smith), Christopher Glover (Dost Akbar, Athelney-Jones, Adnan, Chowdar and Khan), Ru Hamilton (Thaddeus Sholto, Major Sholto and Sherman) and Zach Lee (Jonathan Small, Captain Morstan and McMurdo). It was amazing how they managed to do this, moving from one character to another right in front of us. We started off in London and went to India. They also played several musical instruments throughout the show which added to the story. Very talented people who worked very hard.
The costumes were fantastic, authentic for both London and India and took into account that the actors had several quick changes from one character to another throughout the show.
The scenery was brilliant, very basic but very clever, with the actors moving it around themselves to depict different scenes, rooms, the river side and even boats. Very cleverly thought out. The actors in one scene had us believing they were in a boat travelling at speed during a chase. It really was fantastic.
My granddaughter tells me that this stage play didn’t exactly follow the book, but it was really worth going to see.
Tickets cost from £19.50 (booking fees may apply)
Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four is at the Theatre Royal in Windsor from 15-20 April 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk or call the box office on 01753 853888.
Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1PS | 01753 853888