Tuesday, 2 March 2021

REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes: An Online Adventure by Les Enfants Terrible

Les Enfants Terrible are an innovative and exciting production company and having experienced the brilliant immersive theatre experiences of Alice’s Adventures Underground at Waterloo vaults and The Games Afoot at Madame Tussauds in previous years we knew when we booked for a six-person private online adventure that they would deliver and so they did. The private booking meant we knew the other households involved which added to the enjoyment although at no stage were we allowed to be competitive against each other with the emphasis being on solving the mystery and preventing the murder of the Prime Minister as a team.

Once logged in we met Dr Watson in the lobby who explained the task and each element of the adventure and provided the links to get into the various rooms. He was a jovial chap with a weak knowledge of UK geography but a good guide to the adventure. Most of the effort is down to the participants but there is barely time to investigate all the clues let alone debate them or reflect on your findings. There is plenty of content to distract you from the task and ancillary investigations that may or may not help.

We began at the three scenes of crime where the Lord Chancellor, Home Secretary and Foreign Secretary were found hung, Hence the case name of The Hung Parliament. With eight minutes to investigate each room, we clicked over objects to reveal clues or red herrings. We probably should have divided our time with each of our three devises visiting a room and then gathered back to discuss the evidence but instead, we followed each other around. 

Back in the lobby, we were given the chance to meet the pathologist or visit Lestrade’s office. We split in two and went to the office where we discovered despite the period Lestrade had an early password-protected computer to hack into! Again, there was barely time to break in and click on all the content before we were back in the lobby again! This time we are offered the chance to interview the five suspects Myrtle Docket, Margaret Cartwright, Theodore Steening, Walter Erwin, and Harriet Harper. It was at this point it was clear we should have signed on as six devises rather than three shared devises as we were only able to meet three suspects. The pre-recorded question and answers worked well but it would have been better to meet live performers which the 24 hours availability of the experience clearly prevents.

Finally, we meet Sherlock and get access to his study where some of the clues are drawn together and the solution hinted at with lots of distractions to use your spyglass (smartphone) to google more background on various elements before the six of us are asked to choose the murderer and make the arrest.

The technology works well, there is plenty to do in the time which is strictly regulated and all six of us enjoyed the experience and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys escape rooms or immersive theatre. It's not as good as a real live experience that Les Enfants Terrible do so well but in the circumstances, it is a very good substitute. Don’t forget if you book to use all six devises, split up to explore on your own and allow time to debate your findings and then perhaps you will solve the mystery before Sherlock can light his pipe.

Review by Nick Wayne 

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: Online stream until 14th March | Price of Ticket: £17.50 per device

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