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Home / Latest News / Review: Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret, New Theatre, Cardiff

Review: Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret, New Theatre, Cardiff

Forget Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, there’s a new duo in town.

The Best Kept Secret is a new story based on the adventures of Sherlock and Watson.

Bafta-nominated Mark Catley picks up the story of Holmes’ confrontation with his nemesis Professor Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls in one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous books.

The play opens three years on and sees Holmes working with loyal sidekick Watson on another intricate case which cleverly and sophisticatedly keeps you guessing until the very end.

Director Nikolai Foster retains Doyle’s setting of Victorian England with cobbled paths, the darkness of the Ripper-era and careful lighting which adds to the mystery of the duo’s task.

Catley and Foster have obviously drawn on the phenomenal success of the BBC’s hit series starring Cumberbatch and Freeman which offers a modern twist on Doyle’s famous stories.

The dialogue has been written to be more contemporary and it works, offering a good share of humour along the way.

But Foster is careful to keep Doyle’s legacy and the tradition of Sherlock Holmes by incorporating aspects of the original character – complete with deerstalker and pipe.

The music is a fantastic addition to the suspense and excitement of the dialogue – a real credit to composer Grant Olding.

Jason Durr plays an interesting and thoughtful Holmes as Catley offers an increased insight into the detective’s past and develops the relationship with Irene Alder known as ‘the woman’ and played by Tanya Franks.

Television favourites Andrew Hall and Adrian Lukis are tremendous as reliable Dr Watson and Sherlock’s dysfunctional brother Mycroft.

Entertaining and exciting, The Best Kept Secret runs on the success of recent Sherlock Holmes interpretations but adds to it making it the ultimate whodunnit and a must-see for Sherlock fanatics.

Sherlock Holmes: The Best Kept Secret is at the New Theatre in Cardiff until Saturday. For tickets, call 029 2087 8889 or visit

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