LIVE theatre is thankfully back at Bath's Theatre Royal but can still be hit by the Covid-10 pandemic.

On Tuesday night, it was the turn of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s most celebrated adventure, The Hound of the Baskervilles, to be affected by an 11th-hour change of cast.

Due to the "indisposition" of Jake Ferretti, the role of Sherlock Holmes was played by Niall Ransome and Dr Watson by Fred Gray.

However, both were outshone by the very talented Serena Manteghi as Sir Henry Baskerville, Dr Mortimer, a helpful London cabbie, and three local yokels.

The occasionally very funny overhaul of Conan Doyle's most popular novel is on at the Theatre Royal until Saturday, January 29.

A hit in London's West End, this ingenious adaptation combines a collision of farce, theatrical invention and comic performances to offer a brand-new twist on the greatest detective story of all time.

World-renowned Sherlock Holmes and his colleague Dr Watson are asked to unravel the mystery surrounding the untimely death of Sir Charles Baskerville.

With rumours of a cursed giant hound loose on the moors, they must act fast in order to save the Baskerville family’s last remaining heir.

Brought to the stage by the Original Theatre Company and the Octagon Theatre in Bolton, the play was originally created in 2007 and is now beginning to show its age.

As it moves between melodrama and parody, the script encourages theatrical ingenuity and playfulness but some of the jokes and slapstick action fell a little bit flat with Tuesday night's audience and failed to raise the laughs expected.

I'd say this new production, adapted for the stage by Steven Canny and John Nicholson for Peepolykus, is still entertaining and is performed with a huge amount of energy from the three-strong cast.

But it’s all a bit daft and the rapid repeat of the first half, at the start of the second, gives the impression of being mere padding and is totally unnecessary.

So, too, are the asides to the audience and the tearing down of the fourth wall at the beginning of the play and at the start of the second half, which I found irritating.

I'd say that if you're avid Sherlock Holmes fan you may be disappointed, but for the rest of us it's just an evening of frivolous fun.

Personally, I'd have preferred it if the writers had stuck more closely to Conan Doyle's original whodunnit script.

For those who love to see classic novels given a new comic twist, you'll see far better productions from the Mischief Theatre's Goes Wrong franchise.

Tickets are on sale at the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 and online at