New York

High Thames: Part IV

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Elementary, my dear Watson. Well, sophomoric at any rate.

On Friday I attended The Hound of the Baskervilles, in a new adaptation by Peepolykus. I think I may have enjoyed it much more if I hadn’t had such a lovely time at The 39 Steps three evenings before. The plays are quite similar, each a comic take on a thriller classic performed with very few actors and lots of hats and quick changes.

Yet Hound is staged with very little of the inventiveness that made The 39 Steps such a delight. Despite a masterful use of stage fog and some vivid use of sound, the action on the stage tends toward the frenziedly prosaic. Instead of searching for new jokes and comic situations it relies on the same ones over and over again.And except for bringing a bit of homoerotic subtext to the fore, it doesn’t illuminate the source novel (its excellence and absurdities) in the way that the 39 Steps does.

It wouldn’t be quite fair to call Hound a dog, but the temptation is there.

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