Alex Zahara

Baskerville Sherlock Holmes mystery taps into audience’s imagination

Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery shows at Nanaimo's Port Theatre Nov. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Audience members are being challenged to engage their childhood imaginations to experience the depths of horror presented during Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery.

John Murphy, director of the play, said the production wants people to use their imaginations so they are transported and fully immersed in Sherlock Holmes’s world.

Baskerville has murder mystery elements, almost a dramatic whodunit, and a sense of gothic horror with a romantic story line thrown in for good measure.

It stars Alex Zahara as Sherlock Holmes and Mark Weatherley as Doctor Watson. Three actors, Lauren Bowler, Kirk Smith and Mike Wasko play the 40 other characters in the play.

The quick changes add a comedic and whimsical element to the play, said Murphy.

“It’s really fun for the audience to see a 40 year old guy play a 14 year old boy and then run off an play a middle-aged woman …,” said Murphy. “You have to really crank up your imagination to convince yourself they are a different character.”

Murphy said he hopes audience members come away with a sense of theatre magic and delight.

The production uses a variety of theatre methods to create the atmosphere and tell the tale including video projections of city settings and even using shadow puppets.

“Shadow puppets is such a childlike way of storytelling,” said Murphy.

He said it took months of practice to get quick changes down to seconds and to create the sound effects and visuals that draw audience members into the story.

“What’s really fun for me is this is the most ambitious show I have created technically,” said Murphy.

He said it took so much pre-planning and dedication by the crew and the actors to create the show.

“I am not interested in making mediocre theatre. I am only interested in creating a masterpiece every show,” said Murphy.

The play is produced by Arts Club Theatre Company, and is presented by TheatreOne and the Port Theatre. It shows at the Port Theatre Nov. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $42 for adults, $38 members, $15 students and $5 for eyeGo available in advance by calling 250-754-8550 or

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