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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: Donkeys' Years

Tuesday night I caught Donkeys' Years. It is a revival of Michael Frayn's 1976 comedy and has been doing well enough to have its West End run extended.

The cast has been changed this month which is probably necessary given all the door slamming, sweating and running about that takes place.

I did find the first act to drag a little. So much so that I felt myself nodding off at times. Lucky S was next to me to prod me as we were sitting second row centre. It was a lot of exposition to get through and I figured I could do without it. Still for a mild farce it did hold up well.

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