Ohio Shakespeare Festival’s production of Miss Holmes is a miss




Nearly two years ago Ohio Shakespeare Festival was set to open their newest show “Miss Holmes” in their new digs at Greystone Hall in Akron. Unfortunately the stage lights were turned off around the country for a nearly intolerable time due to...well you know.

The show has now been resurrected with the original cast. So the big question is “Was it worth the wait?” Sadly, I have to say not quite. There seems to be some glaring flaws which makes this production not quite up to OSF’s standards.

To begin with, there seems to be a very large problem with the projection of voice. It was noticed that some of the patrons in the audience had to cup their hands to their ears in an attempt to hear the lines. It seemed that the actors were spending more energy talking to each other then to the audience.

The second flaw is in the script itself that is two fold. The first is the character of Miss Holmes. She never really gets to show off her amazing powers of deduction. You see small snippets of it when she is introduced to Dr. Watson but not nearly as much as in other Holmes productions. There is also the problem of the plot. It was quite evident very early on (as in the first scene) who had actually “done it”. Lastly, the play is quite long lasting two and a half hours with a fifteen minute intermission. With a late starting time of 8 p.m. it makes for a long drive home.

On the plus side. The acting is quite well done although I have a thing about American actors trying to fake a British accent...in a word...don’t! It is OK to use UK colloquialisms with a states side accent but doing so with a fake British accent is simply wrong on so many levels. Please stop it.

The cast includes: Rachel Lee Kolis as Sherlock, Amanda Vigneault as Dr. Watson, Goeff Knox as Mycroft and Edwin, Derrick Winger as Inspector Lestrade, Ryan Zarecki as Thomas Chapman, Katherine De Boer as Lizzie Chapman, Ashley Dyer as Peggy and Martha, Jim Fippen as Superintendent, Dimitri Georgiandis as Reginald and Michael, Holly Humes as Endora Featherstone. The production is directed by Terry Burgler with Kin Simbeck doing an excellent job with lighting design and Kelsey Tomlinson creating believable costuming. The stage settings by Buddy Taylor while a bit sparse did convey enough to reflect the time period.

Rather than a WHODUNIT this is more of a WHY’DTHEYDOIT with a flimsy plot, bad voice projection, terrible British accents and being overly long to boot. This is a play in desperate need of a make over.

“Miss Homes” will be on stage at Ohio Shakespeare’s Festival winter home in Greystone Hall located at 103 South High Street, Akron, Ohio through October 24, 2021. For information and tickets go to http://www.ohioshakespearefestival.com/miss-holmes or call (330) 574-2537.

Masking is at the discrepancy of the individual and proof of Covid vaccination or negative testing was not asked for at the opening night.

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Who is Mark Horning?

Over the course of my life I have worked a variety of jobs including newspapers, retail camera sales and photography. Eight years ago I embarked on yet another career as writer. This included articles concerning sports and cultural events in Cleveland, Ohio as well reviews of the many theatrical productions around town. These days are spent photographing professional dance groups, theater companies and various galas and festivals as well as attending various stage performances and posting reviews about them.