Sherlock in Surrey: Many characters, few actors in touring ‘farcical romp’ (videos)

'Baskerville' show hits stage at Surrey Arts Centre from Oct. 12 to 22

Mark Weatherley (left

Mark Weatherley (left

SURREY — When Sir Charles Baskerville ends up dead in Devonshire and his unidentified attacker is still on the loose, who ya gonna call?

Sherlock Holmes, of course.

The Victorian-era private detective is at the heart of the latest Arts Club on Tour production, which comes to Surrey Arts Centre for a run of shows starting on Wednesday (Oct. 12), along with his sidekick, Dr. Watson, and a wide assortment of others.

The twist with Ken Ludwig’s “Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery” is that just three actors — Lauren Bowler, Kirk Smith, Mike Wasko — play 40 different characters in the show, alongside Alex Zahara (as Holmes) and Mark Weatherley (Watson).

In a promo video posted to the Arts Club Theatre Company’s website, director John Murphy, Zahara and Weatherley discuss the show.

(SCROLL DOWN TO SEE VIDEOS)

“It’s a bit of a farcical romp,” Murphy says, “but it also has the original gothic horror element to it as well. There are all these possible suspects that are slowly eliminated until they get down to the one guy who’s actually the guy who did it.”

Ludwig’s script, based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic, has played the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage in Vancouver for the past month, and is then sent on tour to theatres in Surrey and other cities in the region.

As Watson, Weatherley has the task of keeping the whole thing “rooted in reality and rooted in storytelling,” while his pal Holmes gets some laughs for his socially awkward interactions with people.

“Holmes is this one-in-a-million kind of brain, right, and Watson is the rest of us,” Weatherley reports.

“What’s different about our production,” Murphy adds, “is there’s lots of theatre magic in the show, lots of stuff where the audience has to use their imagination in order to fill out the reality of things.”

At Surrey Arts Centre, “Baskerville” runs from Oct. 12 to 22. Special performances include a “Paint at the Play Art Camp” during the 4 p.m. show on Oct. 22, when arts centre staff will entertain ticketholders’ children (age six to 12) while the adults enjoy the show. The camp is free; register by calling the box office at 604-501-5566.

For tickets and more show info, visit tickets.Surrey.ca.

tom.zillich@thenownewspaper.com