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“Astonishing and genuinely funny” – Sharp Teeth Theatre’s Sherlock in Homes review

Sherlock in Homes – Murder on Ice: interactive crime-solving with excellent acting

Are you looking for ninety minutes of witty entertainment to overcome the nostalgia for theatre performances? Sherlock in Homes 2 – The Murder on Ice by Sharp Teeth Theatre is here to offer some help with that.

This hour-and-a-half show is the second endeavour from this company to make theatre accessible even in pandemic times. It sets a simple story: an isolated research facility in Antarctica, a close group of people in extreme polar conditions.  Sounds cosy until one of them is murdered. The plot gives more of an Agatha Christie feel than Arthur Conan Doyle. Thus the title might be misleading, but the pun in it works marvellously. And, supposedly, being a fan of Doyle’s works, one would not refuse Christie’s ones either. 

Being passionate about the detective genre is undeniably useful, as it is the audience that plays the role of famous detectives. Actors set out the plot and pose as the suspects in the case, which the viewers are solving. That being said, the whole play is engagingly interactive. The audience members join separate breakout rooms, which gives a chance to chat with your fellow detectives and prepare some questions to ask the potential murderers. Hearing the forbidden words “breakout rooms” might appear as an awkward and strange concept for a theatre performance, but it works surprisingly well in this setting. Everyone is exceptionally involved and contributes with creative ideas, and after an initial ice-breaking time, it is possible to forget the typical awkwardness of Zoom entirely. 

The actors’ performance is astonishing. Since the questions are improvised on the audience side, most of the acting is also done in this manner. The flow of dialogue between viewers and artists is natural, and the expression with which they portray the characters changes your home into a theatre stage. 

The play is genuinely funny, filled with smart references and subtle jokes. The plot is engaging through the gradual build-up of the action. Discovering more clues as time passes makes the viewer a part of a well-written crime novel. It is perfect for anyone who is secretly hiding a long tweed coat with a matching hat in their closet or is just craving some quality theatre performance on a lockdown night. 

Sherlock in Holmes- Murder on Ice is running now until 10 April 2021. Tickets and information here.

image: Wardrobe Theatre/Sharp Teeth Theatre