Sunday, 20 September 2015

Jeremy Brett Recreates Sydney Paget's Sherlock Holmes Illustrations

It's just over twenty years since Jeremy Brett died. I've enjoyed plenty of actors in the role over the years, but anyone who thinks there's ever been a better Sherlock Holmes is just plain wrong.

Much has been written about how Brett 'became' Holmes in a way that was somewhat unhealthy. While much of this is hyperbole, it is fair to say that some of the more extreme aspects of Brett's own character certainly didn't hurt when it came to creating a mesmerising Sherlock on screen.

Above all though, Brett just wanted to embody Arthur Conan Doyle's creation. For him, the text was sacrosanct, and any question about the character could be answered by going back to the stories. Similarly, for him, the original Sydney Paget illustrations were the visual source. Hence his delight in recreating them for the TV series (with thanks to this blog...)

There are several books about Brett as Holmes. Annoyingly, they are in so much demand from Sherlockians that they command rather high prices. Expect to pay £50+ for all but the last of these, though at least Bending the Willow is available as a cheaper ebook, and A Study in Celluloid is back in print from Gasogene Press.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Withnail and I Triumphs On Stage! (But You've Already Missed It.)

Lucky theatre-goers in Belfast have just witnessed a two-night-only stage adaptation of Withnail & I, complete with free cake and wine for each audience member!

Background to the production comes via this article in the Belfast Telegraph. Starring Adam Turns as I/Marwood, Xander Duffy as Withnail, Tony Finnegan as Monty and Michael Liebmann as Danny/Everyone Else, it was performed at the Strand Arts Centre on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th September. While I can't find a formal 'review' online yet, comments from satisfied members of the sold-out audiences on the play's Facebook page suggest a fine time was had by all. No doubt the invitation to bring your own wine and beer, and play along (responsibly) to the 'Chin Chin' Drinking Game didn't hurt...

It's not the first time Withnail has been adapted for the stage, and it surely won't be the last. Someone should compile a list... A post for another day perhaps.

For now though, here's this latest production's excellent 'American Gothic' inspired poster, and photos from the rehearsals, thanks to Kandu Theatre's Facebook page.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

A Withnail & I Fan Art Gallery

Here's the results of some idle browsing on Deviant Art. When it comes to Englishmen in long coats, Withnail's lagging somewhat behind in quantity/popularity compared with the likes of BenCum, but there's some great work to be found...

All images are copyright their respective artists. From the top: Karen White, Deldesanges, Muirin007, Eleonore, Sithy, Littlecrow (x3), Kilowhat, Patheticmortal, Yvonne Faun, Rich Fox.