"Murdered Mysteries mixed-up with Mayhem"
by Arthur Duncan for remotegoat on 11/04/17

Conan Doyle's contrived mysteries hardly compete with these convoluted plots and counter-plots. Quick wits are required to follow the hilarious intricacies in Christopher Cutting's re-worked 'dastardly deeds' that have captivated the criminally intrigued in fits of laughter around the country for a couple of years or more.

This April at Tha Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol, producer Lucy Ahmed and director, Anna Marshall have crammed the tiny stage with Victorian-style furniture, leaving little room for two large actors and one smaller one, to portray all the personalities familiar to fans of Conan Doyle's super-sleuth.

Mrs Hudson the housekeeper at 221b Baker Street, makews a short-lived appearance, leaving Dr Watson to narrate the investigations that follow. It is possible that Mrs H's demise is due less to murderous intent than to shortage of actors for hire. Ellis J Wells esquire is emphatic in Watson's diagnoses but manfully fits several other costumes, as does Joshua Phillips filllng in for everyone Wells has no time to play, notably Le Strade and Holmes's memesis, Moriarty, as evil-looking as we might expect.

The only other major role is performed by Jasmine Atkins-Smart, with energy and insouciant humour, set-off by a ridiculous deer-stalker hat in which she purports to smoke a Meerschaum pipe. Sadly, a violin is not played by anybody.

Are any of these implausible characters actually who they seem to be? It appears not possible. Multifarious threads weave through this tale, waggling a cascade of clues and cluelessness until the story exhausts ecvery possible theory of ridiculousness to arrive at the inevitable conclusion that; ... "The Accidental Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" are guilty of inflicting highly entertaining comedy upon innocent audiences all over South West England.

Aficianados of Conan Doyle's stories may feel Tobacco Tea Theatre have sold-out the serious-side of the detective's talents; perhaps so, but they will probable sell out again at their 3rd consecutive year appearaning at Edinburgh Fringe festival, 'C' venue 34, Adam House, 3 Chambers Street, EH1 1HR. Or catch this crime-scene around various tour-dates before August.

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