The Hound of the Baskervilles

Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by David Pichette and R. Hamilton Wright, read by a full cast. L.A. Theatre Works, , 2 CDs, 2 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-58081-963-3
Of all Doyle’s stories about the redoubtable Sherlock Holmes and his faithful friend and chronicler Dr. John Watson, arguably the best known is their investigation into what appears to be a homicidal “gigantic hound” pursuing the Baskerville clan. There have been numerous film, radio, and television adaptations, but rarely has one been as flat-out entertaining as this radio-like full-cast performance, directed by Alexis Jacknow and recorded before a live audience. Much of this is due to the clever script by Pichette and Wright, which includes most of Doyle’s original plot but manages to be as humorous as it is thrilling and, though set in Victorian times, ends with a refreshingly contemporary noirish twist. Assisted by splendid sound effects, the cast performs with energy, enthusiasm, and invention. For example, Moira Quirk portrays the 221B Baker Street housekeeper, Mrs. Hudson, with an amusingly flippant attitude. Seamus Dever is a sharp-witted and sharp-tongued Holmes, but, as in the novel, the character spends quite a bit of time observing events from afar (and is therefore often away from the mike). In his absence, Watson and potential victim Sir Henry Baskerville carry the plot, with Geoffrey Arend presenting the good doctor as a capable and humane straight man considerably out-charmed by actor James Marsters’s Sir Henry. The production also features comments by Leslie S. Klinger, editor of the Edgar Allan Poe Award–winning New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 09/01/2014
Genre: Audio
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