The Hound of the Baskervilles
Perhaps the most famous and popular of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, this gripping tale deals with the curse of the Baskerville family...and the fiendish killer-hound that stalks its members.
As the play begins, Sir Charles Baskerville has died under mysterious circumstances and his nephew and heir, Sir Henry, has been threatened even before his arrival at Baskerville Hall.
Enlisting the aid of Sherlock Holmes, he sets off to his ancestral home on the Devon moor in the company of Doctor Watson, Holmes’ trusted colleague...a journey which brings him to danger, mystery and a series of events that build steadily in menace and suspense.
Hard pressed to protect Sir Henry, Doctor Watson struggles to unravel the mystery and to understand the strange behaviour and motivations of the locals...
...And the scene is set for a final confrontation between Holmes and the diabolical killer who stalks Sir Henry on the moor...Can Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson solve the mystery of the Hound of the Baskervilles before Sir Charles’ heir comes to an equally gruesome end?
The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the greatest stories of the 20th century and its macabre appeal has made it the most popular of the Sherlock Holmes adventures.
With a new, fast-paced adaptation of the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this follow up to last year’s production of Dracula, promises to be another great production as Burneside Amateur Theatrical Society rise to the challenge of bringing the world of Sherlock Holmes to life, and fuse different theatrical traditions both old and new to bring the Hound to
From the WESTMORLAND GAZETTE 23rd May 2013...by Adrian Mullen
A GRIPPING tale that will have audiences at the edge of their seats is bound for Burneside.
With the roaring success of their 2012 production of Dracula still ringing in their ears, Burneside Amateur Theatrical Society director Gordon Lawson and his talented players embark on yet another dramatic journey - this time across dark and brooding Dartmoor in a new, fast-paced adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Running at the Bryce from Thursday until Saturday, May 30-June 1 (7.30pm), it has all the hallmarks of another class production for BATS.
Centre stage as super sleuth Sherlock Holmes is Duncan Cramphorn with sidekick Doctor Watson played by well-versed thespian Simon Yaxley.
As the play begins, Sir Charles Baskerville has died under mysterious circumstances and his nephew and heir, Sir Henry (John Dodds), has been threatened even before his arrival at Baskerville Hall.
Enlisting Sherlock’s aid, he sets off to his ancestral home on the Devon moor in the company of Doctor Watson, Holmes’ trusted colleague - a journey towards danger, a legendary beast and a series of events that gradually builds in menace and suspense.
The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the greatest stories of the 20th Century and arguably the most popular of Sherlock Holmes adventures.
Conan Doyle’s story based around a fabled gigantic hound featured in the 2012 BBC TV crime drama series Sherlock, which followed a modern-day Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch with Martin Freeman as Watson.
The BATS cast also includes Kevin Beecroft as Barrymore; Sue Cook playing Mrs Barrymore; Becks Connelly is in the role of Beryl Stapleton; Doctor James Mortimer is played by Martin Cash and Jackie O’Sullivan is in the guise of Laura Lyons.
Box office 07792-777213.
Some thoughts from the star of Hound...Duncan Cramphorn
It's quite cathartic to put some thoughts down about a project following its completion.
With the benefit of hindsight you can look back to where it all started, how it ended up and the trials and tribulations you faced in between.
I've been looking back further over everything I've done on the amateur stage since my debut as Bob Cratchitt at the tender age of 11 and as an actor, I can recall no greater challenge than taking on the role of Sherlock Holmes.
It's a double-edged sword, you see. He's one of the most famous literary characters ever, so there's endless source material and frames of reference for a character who – in on-screen portrayals - has undergone more regenerations than The Doctor. So, there's loads to draw from.
However, he's one of the most famous literary characters ever and anyone who has had any contact with the numerous books, films or TV series will have an opinion on Holmes and how he should be played.
For me this brought a lot of pressure as I hate seeing portrayals of my favourite characters from books being played atrociously or totally out of keeping with my vision of said character. So, I read a few of the Holmes stories, watched the Jeremy Brett version of The Hound, (I'd already borne witness to the incoherent mumbling of Robert Downey Jnr), closely followed by the excellent Benedict Cumberbund (sic) version, before finally consulting with an old chum and fellow board treader who just happens to be one of, if not THE definitive voices amongst the many Holmesian societies; Roger Johnson. I heartily recommend his book: The SherlockHolmes Miscellany, which he co-authored with Jean Upton.
However, ours was a period piece and so I tried to play Holmes of the time with an authoritarian manner, but tempered with elegance, hints of mischief and driven by the desire to solve the puzzle whatever the cost. Whether I achieved that or not is not for me to judge...
Regardless, it's been a fantastic experience and as I've previously said: hard work, but ultimately rewarding.
From day one, our director; Gordon Lawson, had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve and I loved the fact that he would turn up to rehearsal with books, graphic novels and other paraphernalia relating to Holmes or the Hound of the Baskervilles. From this the cast and crew were all pulling in the same direction and working hard in their respective areas to make everything the best it could possibly be.
I've really enjoyed working on a straight play with the likes of Martin Cash (Dr Mortimer) and John Dodds (Sir Henry), when before we've only ever really played silly buggers in panto. The scene that was re-written to include Holmes in the interrogation of Laura Lyons was also a personal favourite as I really got into the psychological warfare with Jackie O'Sullivan who played the part of Mrs Lyons.
One of the highlights for me though has been sharing the stage with Simon Yaxley for the first time. He is an experienced campaigner, a true gentleman, a total professional and a very giving actor. For those who might not know what I mean by this: in performing his own role, he gives you things to react to and work from. Whether it be a facial expression, body language or tone of voice it may all sound quite simple (elementary?), but is in reality quite a hard thing to master. He does it naturally and I felt that I was able to learn a lot from him.
The five months of intense line-learning (reading the script at least once a day), rehearsal and three nights of performance, were as ever over in a flash. On the final night after the performance, I actually felt quite flat – possibly because I felt we had another show in us – and didn't stay too long at the after-show shindig, choosing instead to try and get an early-ish night so I could enjoy the following day with my new and recently neglected wife and our son.
I've had some lovely feedback from friends and colleagues who came to see the show as well as complete strangers who have come up to me after to tell me they really enjoyed it and were impressed with the effects and so forth. It's great to hear and is a nice reward for everyone who has put so much into making the show happen.
We're now two days after the finish and already I can feel my brain starting to relax with the realisation that it doesn't have to retain lines any longer. Little by little it is already starting to let them slip away – I just hope that I do not lose anything important in the process!
Thanks to all the cast and crew for the fun and laughter along the way and in particular thanks to Gordon for giving me the opportunity to play The Worlds Greatest Detective.
I'm now going to take a bit of an am-dram sabbatical to ensure that I spend some quality time with my family in a bid to nail the greatest challenge of all: being a good husband and father.
From the Westmorland Gazette
Success all round in society's production of famous Conan Doyle tale
By Adrian Mullen Sunday 9th June 2013
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Bryce, Burneside
The work that went into Burneside Amateur Theatrical Society’s The Hound of the Baskervilles was colossal.
The set was cleverly thought out, particularly the spooky moor backdrop, and the powerful image of a full Moon was used to great effect.
Not forgetting a projected picture of the beast itself which added further menace.
The music was deftly selected from fleeting moments of pastoral bliss to thunderous sounds that heightened the tension and pushed the action along superbly.
Duncan Cramphorn did a sterling job as super sleuth Sherlock as he attempts to solve the curse of the Baskervilles and the death of Sir Charles, managing to get his tongue around the elegant vocabulary and tricky pronunications prevalent in the language of the time.
In fact, all the cast did well in delivering the difficult dialogue, heavy on detail.
It was a rather laboured start to set-up the action. However, once in its stride Conan Doyle’s famous tale swept along nicely.
The scene between Holmes, Watson and Jackie O’Sullivan’s Laura Lyons was a standout moment, the suspense palpable as Holmes interrogated Laura.
Simon Yaxley was as accomplished as always in the role as Holmes’ sidekick Doctor Watson, John Dodds as Sir Henry Baskerville suitably gentrified and Gordon Lawson did a really good job as Stapleton, whose deception (he’s really a rogue Baskerville) is finally uncovered by Holmes’ powers of deduction.
Another thing the show did highlight, was what a terrific space The Bryce is, the perfect platform for such an inventive group as BATS.
To book seats for a show please call the Box Office on: 07792 777213