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Howling good fun as Hound Of The Baskervilles sets the stage for Granite Noir

Swirling fog and roaring laughter... the updated The Hound Of The Baskervilles is currently at HMT.
Swirling fog and roaring laughter... the updated The Hound Of The Baskervilles is currently at HMT.

How do you bring together a spine-chilling mystery and fast-paced comedy? Elementary, my dear Watson – you update The Hound Of The Baskervilles as a farce-tinged homage.

So when Sherlock Holmes takes to the stage of His Majesty’s to solve the mystery of a seeming curse on the Baskerville family it will still be the Great Detective, but possibly not as you’ve seen him before.

Mainly because only three actors will be playing all the characters from Conan Doyle’s classic eerie yarn in a fun night of theatre, says Jake Ferretti.

Niall-Ransome, Jake-Ferretti and Serena Manteghi play all the roles on The Hound Of The Baskervilles.

He’s taking on the iconic role of Sherlock Holmes – plus another eight parts beside. And it’s scarier than any phantom hound howling on a fog-swept moor, says Jake.

Switching roles is constant terror for actor Jake Ferretti

“It’s a constant terror, if I’m going to be honest, it’s absolutely terrifying,” said Jake of trying to keep track of who he is meant to be at any given moment and which prop he should be reaching for.

“There’s so much specificity to the show, if you go on stage and don’t have one particular thing, there’s a fear it throws things out.”

But Jake said the backstage crew are “really on it” for him and fellow actors Serena Manteghi and Niall Ransome.

There are tense moments as well as laughs in the show.

“So there’s really never any fear of running on without your hat, or deerstalker, or gun, or anything like that.”

While Jake juggles Holmes and his assortment of other characters, Serena takes on Sir Henry Baskerville plus 10 or 11 others, while and Niall has to contend with being Dr Watson and a yokel.

Hound Of The Baskervilles is very fast, very spoofy and lots of fun

“So while we stick to the actual storyline itself, it’s very fast and very spoofy. It’s just a lot of fun,” said Jake.

“I think everyone’s had their fill of political dramas thus far this year, so it’s nice to go to the theatre to be entertained and have a right laugh.”

While this version of The Hound Of The Baskervilles has its tongue in its cheek, it still has the trademark spinechilling touches that made the original story one of the most popular Sherlock Holmes yarns.

“Absolutely, you couldn’t have Hound Of The Baskervilles and not have some reference to eerie, spooky, moor goings-on. It’s still a very important part of it,” said Jake.

This Hound Of The Baskervilles keeps its tongue in its cheek.

“Funnily enough, we went down to Exeter on tour last year and went down to Dartmoor, so it was nice to see what it was Conan Doyle was seeing as well. So we are very keen to make it as eerie as possible.

“While we want people to have a laugh, we want that atmosphere to be created throughout as well. So be between the writing and design, you will be thoroughly spooked.”

Jake is delighted to be part of crime writing festival Granite Noir

There is one burning question about Jake’s Sherlock Holmes, though. Is he doing Basil Rathbone or going Benedict Cumberbatch?

He laughs at the question, before admitting he hasn’t actually seen either in the role of the detective.

“Of all the ones, I’ve seen, it’s probably Robert Downey Jr. But I’ve not actually modelled him on anyone,” said Jake.

“I think if the show is written well enough that will give you everything you need (as an actor) and this is, it really is. It’s funny, sharp and really clever.”

When Hound Of The Baskervilles opens on Tuesday February 22 it will be under the banner of Granite Noir, the city’s crime fiction festival staged by Aberdeen Performing Arts.

“That’s amazing,” said Jake. “Normally we rock up and do our thing, but the fact we are involved in that is fantastic. Anything that can encourage people to be more creative and get involved in that side of the arts is just brilliant.”

How to find out more about Hound Of The Baskervilles and Granite Noir

And Jake hopes HMT audiences – and Granite Noir fans – will think The Hound Of The Baskervilles is brilliant, too.

“Just sit back and prepare to have a laugh,” he said. “I can guarantee if you come to the show we will furnish you with as much entertainment as we can possibly muster for two hours and it will be a real laugh.”

what's on at his majesty's theatre aberdeen? The Hound of the Baskervilles!
Prepare for some spooky moments on the moors in The Hound Of The Baskervilles.

Hound Of The Baskervilles is at His Majesty’s from Tuesday February 22 to Saturday February 26. For information and tickets visit aberdeenperformingarts.com

Granite Noir will run from  Thursday February 24 to Sunday February 27. For more information visit granitenor.com


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