ED FRINGE: Watson – The Final Problem, Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh

Reviewer: Anna Ambelez

Writer: Bert Coules and Tim Marriott

Director: Bert Coules

Serious violin music plays as Watson (Tim Marriott) descends the stairs with a stick from the back of the auditorium opening the play with a dramatic entrance. Drama continues as he reads a piece from his writings. Marriott then breaks this ‘drama’ with a humorous comment relaxing into his life memories. ”An old soldier with a few bruises and a story to tell”.

He begins with his home background, education and Afghanistan experiences. The lighting and sound effects (Bert Coules) add greatly to the atmosphere, setting each scene perfectly; the acting, sound and lighting effects (Gareth McCloud) complement each extremely well and flow seamlessly. Marriott moves effortlessly from Watson, Holmes, Moriarty and others.

The simple set of carpet, bentwood hat stand holding a period overcoat and two hats, side table with props and beautiful red leather buttoned armchair taking centre stage establish period and atmosphere from the beginning. The mere clatter of hooves and street chatter sets the London scene to great effect as all the sound effects do.

Marriott tells his story well, with a great variety of delivery, pathos, humour, pace, and physical movement. He is a fit man, with his experience and ability being very evident. Many audience members audibly agreeing with parts of his story as it unfolded, knowing it all too well. It is said “Familiarity can breed contempt” and while this did not apply to any of the fully captivated audience, every disclosure and revelation was already known so lacked no surprise. It must be hard to say anything new about such well-known characters but a lesser-known fact would add to the allure.

If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan this show is a must and if you are not then perhaps going to see it will convert you; whichever way it is a great tale well told,

Runs until 28 August 2022

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The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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