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Friday, October 5, 2012

Creatively Faithful to the Master

One would think that it's difficult, if not impossible, to write a dramatic adaptation of a novel that is both creative and faithful to the original.

Difficult it may be, but Simon Corble's adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles as a play proves that it is not impossible in the hands of a skilled dramatist.

The drama is written to be performed outdoors. Gone are Baker Street and the inside of Baskerville Hall. Through a few inventive story-telling twists, the author makes them unnecessary. He also builds up some characters and eliminates others, but somehow without doing violence to the source material. This is still The Hound that we know and love.

"Without doubt this script captures the spirit and thrill of the original," writes the eminent Holmesian David Stuart Davies in his forward. And so it does.

Although the script has found its way between covers for the first time this year, British audiences have enjoyed seeing it performed in various suitably moorish settings since 1995. I only wish that I were sitting among them.

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