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Christmas Mysteries: A Sherlock Carol @MaryleboneTHLDN

A mash-up of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes would seem an unlikely pairing. Yet it provides a surprisingly fun Christmas-themed adventure. These two Victorian tales (albeit separated by about 40 years) provide the basis for an inspired adventure at Christmastime that just also happens to turn out to be a murder mystery as well. With lavish costumes, a few spooky set pieces and some good old-fashioned stage trickery with lights and a lot of smoke machines, it is hard to resist. It returns to the Marylebone Theatre for Christmas after a run there last year.  The premise is that after Holmes sees off the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, he is left adrift in London. People thought he was dead, and he might as well be. Disinterested in the misdeeds of other Londoners, Holmes has even given up on his friend Dr Watson. It's almost as if he has become a Scrooge. Or half a Scrooge, moping about shouting, "bah" in respon
Theatre: Tick Tick Boom!

Caught the show Tick Tick Boom at the Menier Chocolate Factory on Thursday night. It is a soft rock chamber musical (to give it some sort of category) telling the story of a struggling musical theatre writer who is just about to turn thirty and is wondering what he is doing with his life. Now that's something I can almost relate to, and probably explained why I was happy to overlook the shaggy story at times which veered into the standard issue story of relationships, life lessons and so and and so on.

It also helped that that the production was fantastic. It looked and sounded great. The icing on the cake was the three leads as well. Neil Patrick Harris (who once found fame as Doogie Howser MD), Cassidy Janson and Tee Jaye were the cast and made the show work so well.
Neil Patrick Harris has an amazing sublime voice and Cassidy Janson and Tee Jaye were just as good.

The show was written by Jonathan Larson prior to writing "Rent" who died just before the latter show opened and went on to fame and fortune. While it wasn't the most engaging story (or at times very good music) this production certainly brought out the best of the material and was just terrific. Scott Schwartz (son of composer Stephen) directed.

The reviews have been good so hopefully it will get the punters down to London Bridge to this great venue. The theatre is very large but it is a good size for this sort of show and well worth the hike out of theatreland...

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