Review of 'A Sherlock Carol'

Sherlock Holmes (Ben Caplan) is finding himself in an existential crisis following his adventure at Reichenbach Falls where his arch-enemy Moriarty met his doom. What more is there to do when the “Napolean of crime” is no more? Wandering the streets alone having shunned his old friend Dr. Watson (multi-role player and cross-dresser Richard James) he is recognised and approached by Tim Cratchit (Damian Lynch) who implores Holmes to resolve the mysterious death of his reformed benefactor Ebenezer Scrooge (a wonderfully flamboyant Kammy Darweish). If this is not enough the bitter Holmes is approached by Emma Wiggins (Gemma Laurie), a member of the “Baker Street Irregulars” - Holmes' group of street children he has previously relied on for intelligence - for help in clearing the name of her father who has been accused of stealing a famous gem. Begrudging them both he begins his investigations only to be plagued by the ghost of Scrooge, but ghosts don't exist, do they?

An interesting twist on the family “Christmas Carol” featuring the famous detective which covers both stories in fairly equal measure. Holmes played by Ben Caplan here is a bitter character that I found a bit hard to believe in and played much more like Scrooge, hunched over and scowling all over the place with only the occasional flash of insight (to be honest, the mystery is fairly easily tidied up in the last few minutes of the play anyway). Kammy Darweish is amazing as the diseased yet bright-eyed, full of life (?) Scrooge who pops up in Holmes' sub-conscious goading him into helping those that need it most. Damian Lynch is wonderful as Holmes but also Scrooge's female housekeeper (amongst other roles, a necessity with a cast of only five), running about the place despite his tall frame with eager aplomb.

The production feels very much small-stage “off Broadway” with it's small cast and very simple staging (hiked on and off the stage by the cast in a wonder of choreography) which is fine, suiting the material just fine. A feel good, fun play that demands only some attention from the audience in order to appreciate and on that note, I would say that young children, of which there were several in the audience, doubtless would find the play quite boring but there are enough twists and turns to keep most older humans entertained. Yes, it does take itself a bit too seriously though there are some “chuckle” funny moments as well but for the most part expect a lot of dialogue and exposition.

It was alright but did not enthral me as I thought it might but it was a reasonably entertaining show with some interesting performances by the energetic cast.

There is an interval after the first half (roughly 55 minutes) and the second (roughly 45 minutes). This production takes place in a theatre literally on Baker Street just up from where Holmes' home and office was (supposedly) located (yes, it is on “Park Road” but if you look, this is what Baker Street becomes just north of the tube station).

Rating: “It is OK but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2022-12-29

Marylebone Theatre

Location: London (England)

Address: 35 Park Rd, London NW1 6XT ENGLAND

Public Transport: TUBE Baker Street

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7723 7984


A small theatre with book store and café attached. The classic exterior belies the modern, flowing shaped interior accented with wood and soft colours. The theatre seats a few hundred patrons at most so is quite intimate.