Baker Street BECK­ONS

The world’s favourite de­tec­tive does not dis­ap­point in the­atri­cal mashup of Co­nan Doyle mys­ter­ies

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - FRONT PAGE - KEVIN PROKOSH

THERE was never any doubt that su­per-sleuth Sher­lock Holmes would solve the case of the Jersey Lily and again thwart arch­en­emy Prof. Mo­ri­arty in the Royal Man­i­toba The­atre Cen­tre sea­son-opener. As one of the char­ac­ters says in Katie For­gette’s stylish Sher­lock­ian ad­ven­ture com­edy, “It’s all about the hunt.” The game that’s afoot is not about dis­cov­er­ing the iden­tity of the perp, but about who will outsmart whom. The Jersey Lily pits Holmes against his great­est op­po­nent, Mo­ri­arty, who is de­scribed as “the Napoleon of crime,” and re­puted to be one of the first su­pervil­lains of fic­tion. He shows flashes of bril­liance in For­gette’s mashup of sev­eral Sir Arthur Co­nan Doyle’s gaslight-era tales, but hardly proves a crim­i­nal mas­ter­mind and dis­ap­points in this the­atri­cal show­down of lit­er­ary titans. But for the most part, the night’s en­ter­tain­ment is saved and you can guess who­dunit. In his RMTC de­but, Jay Hin­dle presents a Holmes who is a man of mys­tery and fascination. With his aris­to­cratic good looks, Hin­dle ex­udes ef­fort­less, amused in­tel­li­gence and an an­i­mal lust for the chase. The nim­ble Van­cou­ver per­former is almost fe­line in his move­ments as he leaps upon his chaise lounge when struck by sud­den flashes of manic thought. The case un­folds with Holmes holed up in his 221B Baker Street lair with Wat­son (played by Car­son Nat­trass), both of whom are out of their heads with bore­dom. In comes a job­seek­ing scullery maid whom Holmes quickly un­masks as the leg­endary beauty Lil­lie Langtry (Sharon Ba­jer). It is not the last time in the two-hour romp (plus in­ter­mis­sion) that a character will pose as some­one else. The meta-the­atri­cal­ity tops out when a character ap­pears in drag play­ing a character in a play. For­gette drops a bas­ket­ful of Easter eggs through­out her script for the the­atre in­sider. With the ruse ex­posed, Langtry is joined by her pal, the lit­er­ary dandy Os­car Wilde (Ryan James Miller). The two

PHO­TOS BY KEN GIGLIOTTI / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Above, Jay Hin­dle, left, gives his Sher­lock Holmes a nim­ble brain and an equally nim­ble body; Car­son Nat­trass is a warm Dr. Wat­son; top, Sharon Ba­jer and Ryan James Miller play real-life Vic­to­rian celebri­ties Lil­lie Lan­gry and Os­car Wilde.

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