Welcome to our first INN CROWD blog post! The third season has now kicked off with a bang, thanks to wordplay alchemists Dr Illingworth and Mr Simpson’s tour of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire with their brand new commissioned show ‘Holmes & Watson: The Case of the Rhyming Crime’. This was INN CROWD’s first ever co-production, and using Arts Council England funding, Illingworth and Simpson created this spectacular take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventures specifically to tour to rural pubs as part of the INN CROWD project.
The show has just completed its East Anglian run with roaring success, wowing audiences with their razor-sharp exchange of words The Wheatsheaf, The King’s Head and The Burston Crown in Norfolk, and The Dun Cow in Cambridgeshire. Audiences described it as a “Brilliant performance, expertly portrayed, a subtle blend of mystery and comedy.” What did Mr Holmes and Dr Watson think of their experiences in Norfolk, you may ask? Well, in between solving crimes, Dr Watson managed to find the time to write us a little tour diary:
Saturday 10 February
Holmes had managed his own arrangements, and so we agreed to rendezvous in Norfolk. Taking the train from the capital afforded me time to contemplate our upcoming adventures: the English countryside steaming past providing the perfect bucolic backdrop to my meditations. I partook of a new eatery and a cuisine: I believe this ‘Leon’ and his ‘sweet potato falafel wrap’ will do well in London, and perhaps further abroad. Holmes and I were well met in Sherringham: a delightful settlement that boasts of being North Norfolk’s premier seaside town. Holmes, naturally, was less than impressed. However, we had clients to meet! We made our way in haste to The Wheatsheaf, in nearby Holt – where the reception was warm, and the hospitality convivial. A triumph!
Sunday 11th February
We rose with the dawn, a dull and grey day greeting us. “Somewhat appropriate”, Holmes remarked, considering our next appointment at The Dun Cow. Perhaps Holmes has a sense of the poetic in him after all! We journeyed to the public house some 60 miles away: a truly rural locale, we were gazed at with more than a little wonder. No doubt our fashionable London attire – three piece suits, bowties, pocket watches – somewhat marked us as strangers in the area. Nevertheless, once again Holmes was in excellent form and swiftly solved yet another case, causing much merriment amongst the local populace.
Monday 12th February
Another day, another town: the rather unfortunately named Diss. Disrespect was the last thing on our minds at The King’s Head, where a room made available to us to conduct our investigations. Justice swiftly dispatched, Holmes introduced me to his automotive form of transport – a ‘Fiat 500L’, if I recall correctly – and a most marvellous contraption that saw us safely through the unpaved, dark, and at times quite narrow, roads of Norfolk. On a more personal and dismayed note, I swear that Holmes showed more affection for his motor than he does to his most loyal companion!
Tuesday 13th February
Our tour of the Eastern County concluded at The Crown, Burston, where it appeared that everybody from the village (and perhaps further afield!) turned out to witness our endeavours. A truly pleasurable evening in the company of fine publicans and people – indeed, a common refrain throughout this expedition. We retired for the evening as applause burst forth from the pub and into the bitterly cold air. As I bid farewell to Holmes at the train station, I confess to feeling some anticipation for our next escapade. I have a premonition that The Case of the Rhyming Crime is not yet fully solved. The game is still afoot, it seems!
Missed the show? Don’t worry, it’s set to tour to Kent and Sussex in June with the help of Applause! If you’re a landlord based in that area wanting to treat your punters to this brilliant show, get in touch with Applause here!
For more info on the real-life performers behind ‘Holmes & Watson: The Case of the Rhyming Crime’, check them out below:
Facebook: Dr Illingworth and Mr Simpson