FROM Frank Sinatra to Cher, the farewell tour often turns out not to be the farewell tour.
The latest case in point is Holmes And Watson: The Farewell Tour, a double-act show from Kirkbymoorside company Pyramus and Thisbe Productions that exited stage left in 2017 but now has its miraculous Lazarus reawakening, on tour for 18 dates from September 3 to October 9.
Wherever Holmes and Watson visit, be warned that Professor Moriarty surely will be hiding somewhere nearby.
“I toured the play from 2009 to 2017 and thought it would die then, but it would seem not!” says Dominic Goodwin, who once more will play Dr Watson opposite Julian Finnegan’s Sherlock Holmes.
“Wetherby Festival kicked it all off and asked me to bring it back, and within a couple of weeks we were 18 gigs to the good! Most dates are for venues that have already had the show before, but I think the need to laugh has never been greater!”
Written by Stuart Fortey and directed by David Robertson, Holmes And Watson: The Farewell Tour is built on the premise that, before slipping into well-earned retirement, Sherlock Holmes has prevailed on long-time companion Dr Watson, landlady Mrs Hudson and Inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard to join him in a farewell tour of the British Isles.
For the first time ever – ignoring the 2009 to 2017 shows! – they will re-enact one of the detective’s most baffling unrecorded cases – The Case of The Prime Minister, The Floozie and The Lummock Rock Lighthouse – an affair on whose outcome the security of Europe once hung by a thread.
Shrouded in secrecy until now, this case has finally been approved by the Government for public disclosure.
What’s more, Mr Holmes has been entrusted by Her Majesty with the conveyance to the Tower of London of the fabled Satsuma Stone, stolen from the crown of William of Orange in the 17th century and discovered only recently in a midden in Maastricht.
“It is expected that the evening will include a glimpse of this priceless gem,” says Dominic. “In which case, one can only be thankful that Professor James Moriarty, the Napoleon of crime, fell to his death at the Reichenbach Falls. Or did he? Or is he still alive, planning another deadly strike as he lurks, unseen, in the wings?”
Holmes And Watson: The Farewell Tour, winner of the gold awards for performance and production at the 2013 Henley Fringe Festival, will play 11 North and East Yorkshire venues: September 3, Kirkbymoorside Methodist Church; September 4, Wrelton Village Hall, near Pickering; September 5, Wetherby Festival, Open Air Theatre, Church Street, Wetherby; September 16, The Ropewalk, Barton-upon on-Humber.
Coming next, September 17, Helmsley Arts Centre; September 18, Terrington Village Hall; September 19, Alne Village Hall, near Easingwold; September 22, Court House, Thirsk; September 24, Leyburn Arts and Community Centre; September 25, West Burton Village Hall, near Bedale, and October 7, Victoria Hall, Settle.
For a full list of dates for a tour that will stretch out to Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Scotland, go to: pyramusandthisbeproductions.com. Performances times and box-office details will be added tomorrow.
“I can guarantee a bit of a titter! It’s barking mad!” says Dominic, as he looks forward to stage one of Pyramus and Thisbe’s return.
“Then in May and June 2022, we will bring you more titters with Holmes And Mrs Hudson: For One Night Only from the mighty pen of Stuart Fortey. Thrill with excitement as Sherlock Holmes and his landlady Mrs Hudson reconstruct for your entertainment The Case of the Frivolous Vicars! Try and deduce who killed Constance McMerryweather in the vicarage garden with a quoits spike! Ask yourself what, if anything, has Aladdin to do with it? Quite a lot, actually!”
Deprived of his usual sidekick Dr Watson, Holmes teams up with Mrs Hudson, who proves more than equal to the task in hand. “But what exactly is her relationship with Holmes and is it for One Night Only?” ponders Dominic, a noted pantomime dame, who will be raiding the female wardrobe once more to play Mrs Hudson.
“With its smorgasbord of foreign languages, coded poems, ballet and opera, Holmes And Mrs Hudson will be pure fun and silliness from beginning to end.” The tour schedule will be announced soon.
Did you know?
DOMINIC Goodwin’s Twitter profile introduces him as: Big fun actor! Dame and businessman!! Owns Banks Music Publications [in York] with lovely Rosemary Goodwin. Gave up acting in 2014, but is slowly going back to it…