REVIEW: Tweedy and the Missing Company of Sherlock Holmes (Greenwich Theatre)

As regular readers will know, it’s not uncommon to find us at the theatre on a Sunday afternoon. This “us” is typically a quartet (occasionally augmented by the presence of an extended family member or two). But when Crotchet declared that she wanted a “show party” for her 8th birthday, we found ourselves headed to Greenwich Theatre with 15* children (and a very useful Auntie and Uncle) in tow!

8 is a difficult age when it comes to planning a party like this. We didn’t want to book something that Crotchet’s friends would think was too childish for them, but at the same time we had to cater to younger cousins. Mummy was also worried about trying to keep this many kids quiet, especially when they might not be quite as well versed in theatre etiquette as the munchkins. And what if someone needed a wee during the show?! We took all necessary precautions, including insisting that everyone went for a pre-show toilet trip and handing out snacks to keep them occupied. But we really needn’t have worried, because it turns out that nobody cares whether the kids are being quiet when Tweedy the Clown is in town.

The Missing Company of Sherlock Holmes sees Tweedy attempting to put on a large scale production featuring everyone’s favourite sleuth But when the cast go missing, Tweedy and faithful friend Monsieur Royal must turn detective for real and solve the mystery whilst simultaneously performing all the parts. The actual plot is not really important and it’s actually quite hard to follow with all the character changes, but that doesn’t matter in the slightest. It’s really just a vehicle through which the duo can deliver a series of well set-up slapstick skits that will have the audience shrieking with laughter throughout. Although some of it was a bit on the silly side for us, it was lovely to listen to the children in our group giggling away. Our niece who is normally scared of seeing shows was chuckling throughout. Meanwhile, the child we had been chasing around the foyer beforehand sat in stunned silence for the entire show, absolutely enthralled. There were also plenty of adults in the audience who were evidently on the verge of wetting themselves with laughter!

Tweedy is clearly a master of his craft, who bounces off interactions with the audience. He has a big fan-base from his shows with Gifford’s Circus and it was clear that plenty of those fans were in the house to see him in his own show. This was the first time we had seen him, so didn’t have any preconceptions. He’s very much an old-school clown but with modern ideas. (We loved the treadmill section!) Some of the visual comedy was so well done that the kids kept turning round and asking whether it was intentional. He also knows how to milk a moment, perfectly judging the hilarious scene in which an elderly character delivers plates painstakingly slowly to a table. One of the boys in our group completely lost it during this scene, descending into infectious giggles that rippled around the room.

We had an absolutely great afternoon at Greenwich Theatre. Tweedy and The Missing Company of Sherlock Holmes was the perfect show to pick for our party, which had all the kids raving about it afterwards. And for that, Mummy awards it a rating of Raindrops, Whiskers, Kettles and Mittens (aka 4 out of 5 of my favourite things).

Tweedy and the Missing Company of Sherlock Holmes is touring the UK. You can find full tour dates here. We saw it at Greenwich Theatre on 2 February.

*Mummy regretfully recalls having to call up the Box Office twice because she forgot to include the munchkins in this tally when she first booked the tickets.