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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

Music: John Dankworth and Cleo Laine

I keep forgetting that I should avoid going to proms concerts. Albert Hall is stuffy, the acoustics are bad, the seats are terrible, and you always have to worry about some old person falling over you with their walking stick as they navigate the steep inclines. I really don't know why so many old age pensioners risk hip replacements coming to these concerts, but they do...

Anyway, I found myself among the OAPs watching two OAPs on Wednesday night: John Dankworth and Cleo Laine (well they both turn 80 later this year). Despite the limitations of the hall, they managed to give it a feel as if it were a jazz club and they were just playing some music. The audience loved it and it was a bit of a treat...

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