Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes is an hour-long improvisation in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mysteries. Each show takes its lead and title from audience suggestion, meaning every night of unscripted performance provides an entirely spontaneous and individual experience.
Having now seen the show twice at the Noodle Palace in Northbridge, I can attest to its consistent hilarity. The improvisational quality of the show gives it a sizzling energy, unpredictable and exciting to both audience and spectator.
Dylan Townley, Tom Skelton, Daniel Nils Roberts and Alice Winn share more than ten characters between them, differentiating only by broad, theatrical characterisation. In such an informal show, it is easy to forget the artistic dexterity that goes into such an exercise. Make no mistake, while they put on an air of preposterous whimsy, these are performers of the highest calibre.
Their humour is of a distinctly English sort, somehow both acerbic and silly. They consistently embrace the meta-theatricality of the whole exercise, often referencing their own poor costuming or character work. Such Shakespearean play of self-reflexivity is exploited to clever comedic effect, making it rough around the edges in the best way possible.
Each digression or break in character thus only adds to the artfulness of the show; once the performers find function in their own digressions and break of character, there is very little potential for the things to lose momentum. The show is unabashedly fun, and glistening with intelligence. Lovers of comedic theatre should not miss it!
Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes
Bento Box – Noodle Palace, 19 Francis Street, Northbridge (Perth)
Performance: Friday 10 February 2017
Season continues to Sunday 19 February 2017
Information and bookings: www.fringeworld.com.au
Image: Adventures of the Improvised Sherlock Holmes (supplied)
Review: Harry Peter Sanderson