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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

People: Leslie Caron

Tuesday evening last week I managed to get very close to Leslie Caron. It was at one of the National Theatre's platform events where they talk about somebody and there is usually a book signing involved. Old queens, people close to death or a combination of the above seemed to make up the audience. Although there was one guy who took up two chairs that was definitely younger than me there... He sat two over and oohed and ahhed at everything she said as if he were her number one fan...

Anyway, Leslie Caron was the woman who at 16 danced with Gene Kelly in An American in Paris and then went on to be a star in her own right in films such as Gigi and Lili. She now runs a bed and breakfast outside Paris and has written a book about her life. She hasn't given up entirely on acting. She recently won an emmy for appearing in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and will be appearing in Paris next year in a production of A Little Night Music. It was interesting listening to her as she talked about her life and how it didn't quite work out the way that she always planned it, that she always managed to make the most of it... Of course, talent and ambition probably had a lot to do with it as well. Best line of the evening was confirming that Maurice Chevalier was more or less (well using a few more polite words anyway) a bastard.

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