Sherlock Holmes: A Study In Fear at Kings Theatre, Southsea

Rehearsals for Hedda Gabler by The Bench, April 2018. Picture by Jacquie Penrose PPP-180504-122002006

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Rumpus Theatre Company’s two-night stay at the Kings this week featured an actor whose voice is universally known – but who most would pass in the street.

Nicholas Briggs – supplier of Dalek and Cyberman voices to the BBC’s Doctor Who – steps from behind the microphone to play Conan Doyle’s most famous character in a mighty performance. Supported by just two other actors, A Study in Fear shows Briggs is capable of much more than his voice-work.

Ian Sharrock, playing Dr Watson, acts as narrator – but Briggs is responsible for carrying the majority of the dialogue.

I wasn’t always convinced by Sharrock. His performance spoke more of caricature than characterisation, and he lacked the gravitas of a doctor.

There’s a cracking twist – although it’s sledgehammer-signposted – which give Briggs the opportunity to really pull out all the acting-stops. It could be cringingly bad; it’s definitely not.

It’s an entertaining evening – though possibly not for Holmes purists.