Questions with the cast: The Hound of the Baskervilles

Can the world-renowned detective, Sherlock Holmes unravel the mysterious death of Sir Charles Baskerville? You will have to watch The Hound of the Baskervilles at Salisbury Playhouse to find out! 

The award-winning Original Theatre Company and Octagon Theatre Bolton present Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most celebrated adventure.  

The ingenious adaptation combines an exhilarating collision of farce, theatrical invention and wonderfully comic performances to offer a brand-new twist on the greatest detective story of all time. 

Jake Ferretti, who’s theatre credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, takes on the iconic role of Holmes, whilst Serena Manteghi is Sir Henry and Niall Ransome plays Dr. Watson. 

The three have been talking to Experience Salisbury ahead of the performance run:  

What can you tell us about the character you play? 
JF: I think one of the stand-out things for me regarding Holmes is how distant he can be (especially to Watson) and, whilst being unimaginably intelligent, his emotional intelligence leaves a lot to be desired. But, I kind of love him for that.  

NR: I play Doctor Watson. Literature's most famous sidekick. He's been such a fun part to get to grips with. He has a real puppy dog loyalty in this show and it's fun to play him as a total idiot. A competent incompetence really. In the books Watson is normally the readers ‘in’ to the story and it's nice to find the fun in him with this.  

What are you most looking forward to in the show?   

JF: The ridiculousness of it all. Let’s face it, we’ve all had an indescribably horrific time over the past two years and to be a part of a super fun, super funny piece (IN AN ACTUAL THEATRE!) … I can't wait to get it in front of people now.  

SM: Blimey, I’m not sure if I could choose one thing in particular! Also, I don’t want to give anything away… that said, there is a rather stunning Tango sequence, if I do say so myself. 

NR: There's so much I enjoy about it and it's a very physical show for all of us. Anything with the three of us all on stage together I think. It's been so much fun finding the dynamics with each other and trying to catch the others out. Trying to surprise ourselves and make everyone laugh, that makes this show exciting.  

Were you already a fan of Conan Doyle's books and any previous tv or film adaptations?  
SM: I think the books are woven so deeply and lovingly into our cultural vocabulary that, growing up in the UK, you feel the infamous Holmes and Watson are just a part of the literary furniture, as it were. Like Father Christmas. That said, I absolutely loved the recent BBC adaptations and would tune in as soon as they were aired for fear of someone spoiling the mystery. 

NR: I LOVED the books growing up and have re-read quite a few of them in the past few years. It's so iconic so hard to avoid really. The Moffat/Gatiss series got so much right and was rightly very popular but I also really liked a few episodes of Elementary too.  

How does it feel to be back on stage after a tough time for the theatre industry?  

JF: Though I have my podcast, ‘My Sh**ty Actor Boyfriend’ (Apple Podcasts/Spotify), which talks to creatives in the performance industry about how their mental health has been exacerbated by the industry, not having the theatre world at arms-length has been crushing in many ways. Tim Jackson, our director, was super conscious of this from day one and wanted to cultivate an open and considerate rehearsal space for everyone where we keep an eye out for each other. I’m thrilled it’s back and to be working with this team. They’re all incredible.  

SM: On the first day of rehearsals I turned to Jake and Niall and said “I feel like a kid who was won a competition.” I am just elated to be back doing the job I love. I am a big believer in the importance of gathering together in a theatre and sharing a story, especially after the year we’ve all had.  

Describe the play in 3 words  
JF: Fun from beginning.   

SM: Spooky joyous fun.

NR: Book tickets now 

Hound of the Baskervilles is on at Salisbury Playhouse from 15th to 20th November 2021. You can find more about the play, and book tickets, here. 

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