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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

Movies: Indiana Jones and something or other about a crystal skull

230520085774, originally uploaded by Paul-in-London.

Friday evening I went to the Odeon Leicester Square to see the latest Indiana Jones and the very long title movie... I am glad they have shortened it to just "Indy" on the posters as that saves a lot of time. Despite the price of the ticket, the Odeon Leicester Square is a great place to go to see a movie with die-hard groupies (and is less likely than most other London Odeon cinemas to smell like a toilet and have bad sound). People cheered and carried on as if it were a football match...

While my friend Adam is a fan of the series, he wasn't as hard core as half the crowd at the sold out Friday evening screening who came wearing brown leather jackets and hats. It was like a window into another world. All throughout London, seemingly normal and straight men had tucked away in their closets an Indiana Jones costume (complete with khaki trousers and shirt). They may have had whips too but I wasn't checking out what was below their belts... For a movie franchise that is all about fun and adventure these guys seem to be taking it very seriously.

As for the movie, it is just as good as the others, but that doesn't mean to say its a great picture. This one suffered from looking like it was shot on a sound stage a few too many times... But it is isn't the dud flick that the internet gossip was suggesting... Nice acting too by Cate Blanchett as the villainess and John Hurt as the crazy man (John Hurt playing John Hurt really)...

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