Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Tour Review

We were invited along to press night.  Photography Credit : Topher McGrillis

Welcome to the second instalment of 'Theatre with Teens'. Harry turns 13 next week (eeek!) and as we both love theatre, we slipped off to enjoy a mother-son evening at Northern Stage this week to celebrate a little early. 

Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Review

I always remember meeting Harry's Secondary School Tutor for the first time last year. We discussed how Harry was academically bright and all set to be a high achiever and how this can cause a lot of stress and pressure. We chatted about the importance of doing something just for him that is away from studying and after a year or so of trying to figure out what this 'something' would be, it turns out that drama is his thing. It's no coincidence that Harry's form tutor is also a drama teacher (it's amazing the influence our teachers have on us - even if we don't realise it) and this year, Harry is taking a starring role in his school production of 'We Will Rock You'. I'm not really familiar with the story but he is playing a male version Britney Spears - should be interesting and I look forward to watching his performance later this year. I've not seen Harry so passionate about anything (other than the Apple conference) in a long time and as a parent, there's no better feeling than seeing your child enthusiastic about school / a hobby. I'm going off on a bit of a tangent here but Harry's love of theatre is something I wish to encourage and The Hound of the Baskervilles was right up our street. 

The Hound of the Baskervilles is recommended for ages 12+. It sold out pretty quickly at Northern Stage so they have put on another performance at 2pm on Thursday 19th September - if you'd like tickets to this one, I'd be quick! They're available from £10 here. The Running time is 1 hour 50 minutes. 

If you can't make Northern Stage, the show is touring this Autumn. Other North East venues include Jarrow Hall, Gosforth Civic Theatre, Barnard Castle, Gala Theatre Durham, The Exchange North Shields and Phoenix Theatre Blyth. Full listings below:  

Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Review Tour Dates

Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Review Tour Dates

Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Review Tour Dates

This version of The Hound of the Baskervilles is a Northern Stage production adapted by Douglas Maxwell so I had high hopes. Based on a Sherlock Holmes novel, the story unfolds as Charles Baskerville is found dead and a terrifying beast is said to stalk the moors around the Baskerville mansion. Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson are sent to investigate...... 

The Hound of the Baskervilles Review - A Parent's Review

Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Parent's Review

I don't think I've ever watched a Gothic classic played out on stage before so this was definitely a different type of theatre for us and I was looking forward to trying something a little bit different from the norm. Watching a show like this kind of feels like a fitting way to welcome in Autumn. This show is recommended for ages 12+ which I'd say is fair - it's not *too* scary (you won't jump) but it is quite wordy with longer monologues which is why I'd say it's more suited to older children. Everyone knows their own child and Harry loves this kind of thing so I knew a bit of horror/peril wouldn't bother him.

The Hound of the Baskervilles takes place in Stage 3 at Northern Stage which is a performance space which is new to me. It's pretty small but the intimate atmosphere is absolutely perfect for a play like this. The atmosphere was tense throughout, you could hear a pin drop. But this was broken up with Sherlock's wit and humour. The staging is simple yet effective and is fast-paced - not a show you'll end up clock watching with. The way the actors kept looking out into the distance over the audience really made me feel as if 'the hound' was behind us which added to the tense atmosphere.

I honestly can't believe the whole performance is played out by just 4 talented actors. As the plot twists and turns it really feels as if there's a full ensemble on stage and as the cast took to the stage to take their final bow, I was taken aback when I was reminded that there were only 4 of them. All of the characters were brilliantly played out on stage and the accents were spot on.

I loved how the characters played off against each other - Sherlock and Watson's dialogue with each other was a joy to watch and I could really feel Watson's frustrations with Sherlock along with him - it's as if I was feeling them myself rather than watching them being played out in front of me if that makes sense.

Many moons ago, I once won a bottle of wine at a murder mystery night at Hardwick Hall for guessing who done it. I think it was before Steve and I were even married. Well it appears that I've lost my touch as The Hound of the Baskervilles kept me guessing right until the end.

If you love a good murder mystery or fancy a night out with a difference, I highly recommend catching The Hound of the Baskervilles as it embarks on its Northern tour. I'd recommend as a family night out with teens and there were a few teens in the audience who seemed to enjoy it as Harry did. It would also be equally as brilliant as a child-free night out and I bet the interval theories get really interesting after a few glasses of wine.

The Hound of the Baskervilles Review - A Teen's Review (aged 13) 

Theatre with Teens : The Hound of the Baskervilles Tour Review

This stage version of The Hound of the Baskervilles is pretty different to the TV/film adaptations I've seen and the plot kept me guessing about what would happen next (I didn't manage to guess the ending). I didn't find the play to be as scary as expected but the nightmare scenes were pretty scary and it was funny in parts. My favourite character was Sherlock as he is smart and always gets to the bottom of the mystery. The show didn't feel too long and I'd give tonight an 8/10 and would recommend if you fancy yourself as a detective - it's harder than you think!


1 comment

  1. That's great that Harry has found something he really enjoys doing, he will smash his role in the play I'm sure. I love a good Sherlock Holmes mystery, bringing it to the stage is a really great idea it sounds like you enjoyed it x


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