Sunday 8 January 2012


Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez are Holmes and Watson
Sherlock Holmes is having something of a moment - the second Guy Ritchie film was out before Christmas, of course, and if the twitterati were to be believed, it was merely a gun-toting amuse-bouche for the second series of the much acclaimed BBC series. I'm rather fond of the agreeable Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson  - if you have yet to catch it, here's the first episode which aired last Sunday. But the vogue for everyone's favourite literary detective does not stop there - you can also catch more Holmes and Watson action this coming week at the Soho Theatre in an hour-long show.

Penned and played by award-winning comedy duo Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez, Max and Ivan are... Holmes and Watson has done something infinitely more daring than even the BBC's Aldiss and Moffat:  rather than re-imagine Conan-Doyle's stories for the twenty-first century, they've written their own breathtakingly original and utterly hilarious final chapter in the Holmes saga. Taking up some rejuvenating years after Sherlock Holmes' final outing as a bee-keeping spy-catcher of the last Conan-Doyle story, Max and Ivan put our hero's famous powers of deduction to work in a prohibition era tale of revenge, whiskey and javelins set in Chicago's criminal underworld.

Quite clearly, this isn't a Holmes and Watson for purists, but it is one of the funniest thing I've seen live on stage for ages. It's quirky, witty, fast-paced and, whilst unmistakably irreverent, manages to tug its forlock in the direction of the Conan-Doyle creation on which it depends.

I first saw the show when Max and Ivan previewed it before taking it to the Fringe last summer: they are - as it says on the play-bill - Holmes and Watson, but they also play about eleventy-three other characters, including a rather chilling Voldemort-esque Moriarty, and the shifts between are deft, convincing and terribly, terribly funny. It's gifted physical comedy as well as cleverly scripted and I can't think of a better, quicker way of catapulting oneself out of the January slough of despond than to spend an hour in Soho watching this unique show.

If you want more Sherlock Holmes in your life - and really, can one ever have enough - then hot-foot it to the Soho Theatre : Max and Ivan are... Holmes and Watson plays from thursday 12th January to Saturday 14th and again from thursday 19th to Saturday 21st January. The show starts at 8pm and tickets are £10.

Max and Ivan are... Holmes and Watson, Soho Theatre, from 12th January.
BOX OFFICE 020 7478 0100 
Follow Max and Ivan on twitter @maxandivan


Nota Bene said...

I quite fancy this...if I'm not too late

Helen Brocklebank said...

Dear Nota Bene - not too late at all - it's on today through saturday, and then again next week on the same days

Truf said...

Mrs T, this blog is so convincing that I booked a flight to London... well no, I was coming over for a day anyway, but used the chance to see the last performance - and it was really enjoyable! Thanks for the recommendation!

Arun said...

Always a pleasure to meet a Sherlockian :)

Great post. I need to check this one out.