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Saturday, June 23, 2018


By Jenkins I think they've got it... (Review by Verne Rowin Munsamy)

Watching ex-students of mine making theatre, taking the plunge into the professional world of theatre is always exciting for me as a lecturer and Hudson and Watson and the Mystery of the Blue Diamond does not disappoint. This modern take of the detective, murder mystery genre is simply delightful. Written, directed and performed by Stephanie Jenkins, with assistant direction, lights and sound by Lisa Goldstone, this powerhouse all-female team do well to drive the 'me too' campaign forward in innovative and modern ways.

The play cleverly places Mrs Watson (wife of Watson) and Mrs Hudson (the maid of Sherlock Holmes) in the protagonist roles and we hilariously embark on an adventure to solve the crime of the stolen blue diamond. The cast of four are excellent at prop use and character changes, all demonstrating a great fluency in accents and an array of characters that keep us thoroughly entertained.

Jenkins not only shines on the stage and kept me amused with all her freeze positions but also directs this piece with a stylised eye and a knack for detail. The underscoring was fantastic and did well to build suspense and intrigue although I did feel that the 'Can Can' was used too often. The lighting was adequate for the limited rig but we may forgive this with everything else that went right with this show including the corny one-liners, breaking of the fourth wall and the amazing use of shadow puppets.

Hudson and Watson stars four young novices, Sibahle Sibiya, Qhawe Vumase, Kwenzi Becker and Stephanie Jenkins, who will give any professional actor a run for their money. Between them they fill the stage with 12 adorable characters. This show is showing at the quaint Studio 5 at UKZN and it is a must-see for all especially if you are an avid lover of a hilarious, farcical 'who done it' mystery. Well done to the team for this sensational break through which is well written, modern and entertaining. –

There are two more performances tonight (June 23) at 16h00 and 19h00 in Studio 5, Drama Department, Howard College at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Tickets R50 and bookings can be made via - Verne Rowin Munsamy

The production will appear on the National Arts Fringe Festival in Grahamstown. To link direct to the NAF site click on the large banner that runs across the top of this blog or visit