Everyone has their favourite incarnation of Sherlock Holmes: Basil Rathbone, Jeremy Brett, Benedict Cumberbatch.
But in Titchfield Festival Theatre’s production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, their Holmes is an entirely different beast.
The play, adapted by Steven Canny and John Nicholson, is a farcical take on the classic tale, and the characters are actors tackling the famous roles.
For director Hannah Wood, the biggest inspiration for this Sherlock is a well-known actor in a lesser-known role.
She says: ‘Michael Caine in Without A Clue plays a character who is paid to impersonate Sherlock Holmes by Doctor Watson, who is the real genius.
‘That version has the same spirit as our production as it is very tongue-in-cheek.
My Sherlock plays a ukelele rather than a violinHannah Wood, producer and director
‘My Sherlock plays a ukelele rather than a violin, for example.’
The cast is made up of three actors – Vincent Adams, Neil Hunt and Sam Goodhall – who play Holmes, Watson and Henry Baskerville respectively.
‘We have gone with this idea of having a classically trained actor playing Sherlock and an upstart actor playing Watson,’ says Hannah.
‘It is a spoof of the idea of old English posturing relationships, ones that are all about “I’m better than you’’.’
Neil Hunt has had no problem getting into character, as he writes a blog from the point of view of Watson.
Although the performance is light-hearted in tone, the hound remains a fearful figure.
Hannah says that the frights are achieved through what you don’t see rather than what you do.
‘It is all smoke, mirrors and suggestion – you are meant to completely believe that the hound is real and that it is in the theatre with you,’ she says.
‘There are lots of clever sounds and lighting effects – it is the only thing that is meant to be scary.’
The Hound of the Baskervilles is at Titchfield Festival Theatre from April 8 - 18 at 7.30pm.
There are no performances on Sundays.
Tickets: £8-11, call the box office on 01329 556 156 or go to titchfieldfestivaltheatre.com.
To read Neil’s blog go to drwatsonsblog.com.