If you’re enjoying our content, then please consider becoming a patreon with every penny going towards keeping AYT going and paying our very talented team of young creatives. For more information, visit: https://www.patreon.com/ayoungertheatre.
When a new medium arises, the boundaries are immediately to be tested and Zoom theatre is no exception. Sherlock in Homes 2 elevates Murder Mystery beyond the realms of the traditional whodunit into a hilarious online experience perfect for a lockdown family night.
Making any online performance immersive is an extraordinary feat. The combination of striking design, elegant costume, and fluid tech makes for a seamless production. As you interrogate the characters, clues sit tucked away in the detailed backgrounds but you have to move fast as you only have five minutes to unpick as many clues as possible. The actors improvise their way around questions to unveil key pieces of information while maintaining all of the underlying twists and turns.
This show puts an abrupt end to the mundanity of breakout rooms as you await your suspect for questioning. They pop up and shout, ‘Oh Detective!’ and then proceed to take you on an immaculate journey through the crime scene. The cast are quick thinking and never fail to land an improvised joke. Peter Baker is flawless in their extremely punny performance as Captain El Sharto, crying out, ‘Gracias Jackie Weaver.’ It is equally hysterical when they drop out of the call at the exact moment their words could crack the whole case.
The cast are what inevitably make this performance so special. From the devastated widow Bella De Ball (portrayed by the ravishing Lucy Harrington) to the bubbly Scout Sonner (played by Eleanor Nawal), every character is equally dazzling. One can only imagine how daunting a challenge it is performing on an eighty-person zoom call, particularly when entire families are crowded around a single iPad. But with each bold accent or transition, you are thrown into a new set of facts to solve the crime. The show is so seamless in fact, I had no clue that Baker multi-rolled two characters.
It is genuinely difficult to figure out who the culprit is. You’ve got to keep your pen close to hand to make sure you take note so you problem-solve to the solution. What such a fantastic show demonstrates is how adaptable theatre truly is. For the creatives who are reluctant to delve into the hellscape Zoom can be, Sherlock in Homes 2 is a perfect example of success. An online realm offers superb new opportunities in innovative comedy. In the cognitive dissonant brilliance, it’s easy to forget that these characters are on a Zoom call straight out of 1920. The intimacy of this online realm makes for storytelling magnificence.
‘Sherlock in Homes 2 — Murder on Ice’ is playing online until April 2021 For more information and tickets, see Bristol Old Vic online.