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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

Sssmouldering Sunday night cabaret: Miss Hope Springs

Miss Hope Springs has a regular Sunday night Cabaret show at The Crazy Coqs in Piccadilly. She now has a new show "Latin a la Springs" which injects a bit of bossa nova and sophistication into the Sunday night proceedings (well a double bass and a syncopated beat always sounds a bit of sophisticated if you ask me).

Miss Hope Springs is a surprise as you don't just get a cabaret show of some great songs at fabulous venue, but you get a character and a back story of a recovering showgirl who has been there and done Hollywood, done Vegas, done worse and is now here for your pleasure. Nothing is taken too seriously and everything from a her hilarious career highlights to the conventions of performing a cabaret set of jazz, pop and bossa nova standards are lovingly sent up.

While the voice is low and gruff, and you could be mistaken initially for assuming she is Rula Lenska's younger sister (which got confusing when the famous actress herself was there on Sunday night), there is some fine music making here. This is no rubbish drag act that you might find at a gay bar.

If you find yourself in Piccadilly on a Sunday evening wondering what there is to do, this is the place to be. An album recorded live at the venue covering some of the material performed, including the excellent "Devil Made Me Do It"is also available as a digital download.

Miss Hope Springs is performed by Ty Jeffries and runs every Sunday night at The Crazy Coqs from 7pm. Doors open from 6.30ish for some great cocktails. The show runs for about two hours including an interval.


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