My only previous experience of a one person show was not a good one. However, when I heard of ‘Holmes Alone’ at the Bookmark Bloxwich Theatre, I thought I’d give solo performers a second chance. You see, a Sherlock Holmes production from the enticingly named ‘Don’t go into the Cellar,’ theatre company? With my love of the dark, I simply couldn’t resist.
Set around the brink of the Great War and with Holmes seemingly enjoying life on the South Coast, ‘Holmes Alone’ sees our sleuth come out of retirement when best friend, Dr Watson is kidnapped. With Watson held to ransom, Holmes must deliver the famed Mazarin Stone to those evil foreign powers, intent on wreaking unspeakable destruction on us all.
Don’t go into the Cellar, produce original Victorian ghost, horror and in this case, mystery drama with actor, Jonathan Goodwin, excellent in all the roles he undertook last Saturday night.
It must take great versatility to perform so many different parts in the space of one hour and Goodwin more than achieved this. In fact, whether it be the eccentric Mr Armstrong, Count Negretto Sylvius or the great detective himself, our solitary thespian replaced each character with the next, morphing seamlessly from one to another with the audience barely noticing we were watching the same man on stage.
Monsters, mutant jellyfish and magnificent sword fights fights on an airship were to be seen. Not visually perhaps, but easily implanted into the mind by the talented Goodwin.
The hour flew by as swiftly as the airship I knew Holmes to be on. Curious, I wondered what could be in store when after a short interval, we were treated to a question and answer session following the main performance. Goodwin’s knowledge of the works of Conan Doyle deserves admiration too as he recollected events from stories in response to any question fired at him.
I think I’d go as far to say that on Saturday last, I wasn’t just watching a drama being performed on stage, I actually came out thinking I’d been in an audience with Sherlock Holmes, himself.