[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Sherlock Holmes: The Last Act” written by David Stuart Davies, performed by Nigel Miles-Thomas, and produced by Fringe Management at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2023.
What better way to experience Sherlock Holmes than in the presence of the man himself? This brilliant play has been developed over the years by the writer, David Stuart Davies. Pulling from his lifetime’s work of research and catalog, he writes Sherlock Holmes as instinctively as did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself I wager. In this electric piece, we see the man toward the end of his life. Called to London for the funeral of his beloved Watson, slightly dulled by years of cocaine and hiding away in Sussex. We see him now still vital and fascinated by life, although he is regretful and haunted by some of his cases.
Sherlock Holmes is such a part of the English culture that he seems real. I wonder how many people think he actually was, rather than a figment of Conan Doyle’s vivid imagination. A tortured soul, nonetheless this play gives him to us at his best I think. Older, slightly wiser, quicker to emotion and full of the wisdom of repentance.
It’s a truly heartbreaking piece and I found myself tearing up many times. Perhaps it reminded me of my father, perhaps of my home in England, perhaps of the deerstalker hat that sits beside me in the bookcase as I write. How intrinsic is this man in all our lives? I know he is so much a part of mine that he feels like family. Nigel Miles-Thomas performs as Holmes with magical candor. He has that mysterious ability some actors have to occupy the mantle of a character so completely that they become inexorably connected. He and Holmes seem utterly indivisible from one another. And the portrayal is as close to my imagined Sherlock Holmes as anyone I have seen in the role.
He talks and he talks and he misses everything. But mostly he misses Watson. The love of his life it seems. And weren’t they the perfect pair? Sherlock was inspired by Watson’s writings of their adventures together. Always searching for approval and a better title for his next story…
It seems impossible that they were the only characters in a book. And yet, how perfect that they will live forever there…together.
This is a brilliant piece of Hollywood Fringe Festival theatre. Unmissable in fact. Nigel Miles-Thomas is fantastic as Sherlock. He has the energy of him, the fierceness, the intellect, the passion. I absolutely loved this performance and the writing! Wow…the words are perfectly written and perfectly spoken.
There are three more performances so you really have no excuse not to see this phenomenal show. I think I will be back myself!! In fact, I know I will. How can I miss the prospect of another evening with Sherlock Holmes?
Final Shows: Wednesday, June 21 @ 8pm, Friday, June 23 @ 9pm, Saturday, June 24 @ 7pm
6320 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038