- Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his short stories about
Sherlock Holmes, but he has also included four novels in his
literary repertoire, one of which has been adapted to the
stage by F. Andrew Leslie.
Hound of the Baskervilles,” presently playing at SummerStage
in Lapham Peak State Park, is being produced by The World’s
Stage Theater Company.
theater has some inherent problems. As lovely an experience as
it can be, the outside noises of freeway traffic and
nature’s unpredictable eruptions can interfere with the
since theatergoers are allowed to eat and drink during the
performance, they should be reminded to beware of annoying
crackling of their snack bags just as they are reminded to
turn off cellphones. Some people are totally oblivious how
much distraction and ruckus they are causing.
production itself is quite well done, except for inadequate
voice projection on the part of some of the actors. Since an
intricate Holmes mystery is based on many detailed
observations, it is critical for an audience to be able to
hear every word. This was not always possible, and therefore
opens following the mysterious death of Sir Charles
Baskerville. Dr. Mortimer, puzzled by the supposed curse on
the lives of the Baskervilles and the presence of a hound with
supernatural powers, elicits the help of Holmes and his
companion Dr. Watson to help solve the mystery before
something dire befalls Charles’ heir, Sir Henry Baskerville,
who has just arrived from Canada to claim his inheritance.
accompanies Sir Henry to Baskerville to find out what he can
about the estate and the servants and neighbors who comprise
the environment. We meet Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore, the servants,
and two neighbors, John and Beryl Stapleton.
also meet Mrs. Lyons, who supposedly was connected to the late
Sir Charles. Another character, Seldon, Mrs. Barrymore’s
brother, is also alluded to.
have mastered the British accent and the flavor of Doyle’s
wonderful literary gifts. We are impressed and amused by
Holmes’ perspicacity and Watson’s patience. Both Josh
Scheibe and Zach McLain do their part to recreate these two
classic characters beautifully. Two other well-honed
characters, Sir Henry and John Stapleton, are memorably
rendered by Ben Rogaczewski and Jeff Porter, respectively.
All of the
female actors were difficult to hear at times, except for Mrs.
Barrymore, played by Tamsyn Cogar-Reed. Ryan H. Nelson and
Mike Loranger, in their roles as Mr. Barrymore and Dr.
Mortimer, were also inconsistent in their voice projection.
atmosphere was definitely created, enhanced by actors
disappearing into the darkness of the premises outside. The
sound effects are effective and chilling at times.
Mahkorn and Sherrick Robinson co-directed and deserve credit
for coordinating a difficult and largely entertaining