News Column

Sherlock 'Holmes' in on laughs

August 29, 2013


In a line-up which includes Robert Downey Jr and Benedict Cumberbatch - comedian Joe Pasquale might look a little out of place.

But the funnyman will be following in their footsteps when he takes on the role of super sleuth Sherlock Holmes in a run of parody productions created by pantomime comic, Ben Langley to be held at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil.

Mr Pasquale's comedic style promises to provide a hilarious contrast to the famous detective's usual brooding and mysterious demeanour, when he stars in Ha Ha Holmes! The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Mr Langley, who plays Doctor Watson in the show said: "It's all about realising what is current and topical and choosing a subject that gives you plenty of things to parody - Sherlock Holmes is a great character to poke fun of. It's just asking for it, what better juxtaposition for the great detective than Joe Pasquale?

"To write the script I had to become familiar with the story which is really quite complicated. I had to make it understandable on stage and find the parts which were best to parody.

"What makes the whole thing special is that we have a multi functional set which morphs around the characters on stage and changes location as required. There is no fourth wall, we do set changes with the curtain up and we're there on the stage as people are coming in. The comedy starts as soon as they arrive and we can condition the audience to be in on some of the jokes."

Mr Pasquale who recently made his West End theatrical debut in Spamalot, has also starred in touring productions of The Nerd, Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Wizard of Oz and most recently last year's Doctor in the House with Robert Powell.

Mr Langley said: "Joe got the idea straight away, he is a top comic. The comedy is very visual and it's relentless, once it starts it doesn't stop."

Mr Pasquale said: "I'm really looking forward to performing this in Yeovil. I read the script and was very impressed it really makes you laugh and I am raring to go."

Writer Ben Langley has worked in London's Covent Garden as a street performer for the past 17 years, he won The Bristol Harbour Festival Street Performer of the Year award performing his one man show and has supported Paul Zerdin on his Sponge Fest tour.

Ha Ha Holmes! is the latest in a run of shows by Jamie Wilson Productions. Previous shows have included Ha Ha Hamlet! which featured at the 2009 Edinburgh Festival and Ha Ha Hitler! which opened at the East Croydon Warehouse before touring.

Ha Ha Holmes! originally opened in February 2011 before embarking on a UK tour to critical acclaim.

The show will be performed at the Octagon on Monday and Tuesday, September 9-10. For more information contact 01935 422884 or visit www.octagon-theatre.

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