Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act

There is nothing “elementary” about this production. It is top class

There is nothing “elementary” about this production. It is top class

Presented by: Fringe Management LLC and Joanne Hartstone
Reviewed: 18 February, 2024

“Elementary my dear Watson”

“The game’s afoot”

The above two quotes are from the mouth of English fiction’s first consulting (today we would say ‘private’) detective, Sherlock Holmes, and from the pen of the one and only Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes, Dr John Watson, Inspector Lestrade and of course the ‘Napoleon of Crime’, Moriarty have lasted as Mystery devotees’ companions for around 137 years. 

Set in 1916 at Dr Watson’s funeral, Conan Doyle expert David Stuart Davies’ play Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act takes us back to the day Holmes and Watson met at 221B Baker Street (“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive”), and then, keeping a constant speed up, moves along as swift and sure as a Victorian steam train to the funeral and a little beyond. Using snippets from some of Doyle’s novels and short stories and fleshing the great detective out with perceived back story, Davies’ script becomes an imagined biography. This work of fiction shows us the ‘real’ man perfectly.

Many actors have graced the big and small screens, and even stage, as Mr Holmes. Perhaps the most famous being Basil Rathbone and Benedict Cumberbatch. But now, let us add another shining star to the fray. As the great detective, British actor Nigel Miles-Thomas is brilliant. Having the ram-rod bearing, dark wavy hair, the perfect aquiline nose and a deeply rich, sonorous voice, Miles-Thomas is Holmes from the get-go, convincing the audience that the detective is real flesh and blood and not the creation of a writer. This is no mean feat, especially when the actor has to portray other characters just as convincingly. But Miles-Thomas wears it all like a very familiar deer-stalker. His is a top-class act from a top-class actor.

If you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes, this is a must-see production. If you are not, but a fan of stunning acting, then this is still a must-see production.

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey

Venue: Studio 166 at Goodwood Theatre and Studios
Season: 17 Feb – 17 March 2024
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $25 – $30

More News

To Top