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That's a Bit of Sheer-Luck | Old Red Lion Theatre

That's a Bit of Sheer-Luck, which has been written by Emily and Beth Rennie and directed by Phoebe White, is a witty, pun-filled and hysterically hilarious show about the world's best detective "Sheerluck". Oh, and Sherlock Holmes does make an appearance.

When Sheerluck's brother Mycruft's award winning dogs are stolen the day before Canine Union of National Talent (C.U.N.T), Sheerluck is employed to find and save the three dogs. Unfortunately, due to an earlier incident, his trusty side kick called Joe Whatsitt is currently suffering from amnesia and is out of action, leaving the former world's best detective Sherlock Holmes to join Sheerluck to save the dogs. Unexpected alliances, rivals and interactions bring famous swimmer Irene Paddler, Inspector Lestride, and the Pirate King into the investigation.

The cast are incredible together, and bounce off of one another well. Beth Reenie as the titular character Sheerluck is charming and woefully awkward all at once, which makes for an engaging performance. Emily Rennie Irene Paddler is a majestic villain, with a chilling evil laugh, and a strong stage presence.

Matt Entwistle is marvellous in his multiple roles as Constable Lestride and Joe Whatsitt. As the bumbling Whatsitt, Entwistle wins the audience with his subtler performance and penchant for delivering some of the show's funniest lines with a sense of confusion. His gift for physical comedy is evident in the mostly silent Constable Lestride and has the audience in hysterics.

Alec Taylor also stuns in his multiple roles as the Pirate King and Mycruft. The hilariously upbeat and highly emotional Mycruft is wonderfully contrasted by the ridiculously funny Pirate King. Taylor is such a dynamic presence on stage, it's nearly impossible to look away.

However, the show's stand out performer is Lawrence Harp as the famous Sherlock Holmes. Harp approaches the beloved character in a completely new way, bringing a Sherlock Holmes like never before. Harp gives the role his all and is rewarded with continual laughter from the audience. Extraordinarily gifted in physical comedy, and with fresh energy, Harp shines in the role.

The set (Niamh Lyne) is relatively empty, but the stage feels large and intimate all at once because of the theatre structure, placing the action close to the audience. The play utilises all three doors available, creating a farcical effect as characters enter and exit, or call out from offstage. This also really aides in the many quick changes that the cast do (particularly impressive is Taylor and Entwistle).

The walls are decorated with banners and skulls, with a random assortment of props hung from the ceiling with string above the actor's heads. Whilst a few of these props are physically used in the play, they are referenced in passing. A truly impressive light bulb moment of genius, was the decision to have a moment with the hanging light bulb. The lighting (Toby Ison) was brilliantly done, and really helped create a sense of atmosphere. From a dim blue for the Pirate King's Cave, to a dramatic spotlight for synchronised running, or a cheeky red for the dance number, the show uses lighting well.

The show is frankly just brilliant in every aspect, and it was a privilege to see the show now as it's sure to develop into a much larger show in the future. Riddled with Sherlock references for fans to spot and enjoy, a witty pun or joke in nearly every line, costumes (and hilarious merchandise for C.U.N.T), bold political mockery and excellent use of physical comedy (including one of the best choreographed dance/fight moments I've seen). It is currently playing at the Old Red Lion theatre until the 31st of May.

For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5*)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review


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