Potted Sherlock involves two men and a girl (otherwise known as Dan, Jeff and Lizzie) taking on all 60-odd Sherlock stories and solving them in a stage play only 90 minutes long.
And they do it with utter hilarity.
I cannot honestly say that I know the solutions to all of the cases now because some are happening so fast that you only get as far as realising that they are all switching hats in order to switch characters to stop the fights about who is going to be who.
And with that sentence I think I have just summed up the tone of the entire evening.
With a lengthy introduction from Dan and Jeff about working out what they are about to attempt and then finding their double-act interrupted with a “girl” joining in, some of the cases are solved through their version of trickery – getting one of them to just talk through it in a matter of seconds and considering that as a case solved. Others they act out in more depth but the majority of the play is them out of character rather than in it.
Naturally, it is all scripted their bickering over who is going to play what part, but it just adds to the fun. Half the time there are random costume changes that add nothing to the story or characters deciding to appear with all the smoke and spooky music (aka Moriarty) when they are not actually in the scene or story happening at the time.
What was the best part for us was the accidental mess ups when even the actors themselves found themselves cracking up laughing. At one point, hats are switched at an ever-increasing speed as they swap characters. During one such scene, even the actors forgot who they were supposed to do and who was who. Names were muddled and confusion ensued for a few moments while they tried to figure out where they were, even though their third member was laughing at it so hard she couldn’t even say her own lines.
Then there was the famous “The Falls” which involved one being drenched with a water pistol from two different directions. This time, the actor decided he wasn’t ready for his cue and just kept going while he still had water left. It’s amazing how they could keep to their timings considering it was obvious this part wasn’t scripted and went on for a few moments – definitely a moment of laughing at rather than with.
A cross between a serious play, a pantomime and a musical, there were literally references for all ages being made with the majority being recognised by all. For a night out with the family after Christmas, utter hilarity ensued and it was a really enjoyable night. Their approach to doing the play is what made it so enjoyable and I for one would certainly be interested in seeing what others one they have done – for Sherlock is not the only thing they have managed to condense into a stage play.