We continue our series of interviews with the three stars of the Barn Theatre, Cirencester’s revival of Sherlock Holmes-as-comedy The Hound of the Baskervilles. Now on the case, it’s newcomer Herb Cuanalo as Holmes himself. Check out our interview below – and then get booking!
The Hound of the Baskervilles runs from 24 October to 24 November 2018 at Cirencester’s Barn Theatre in the Cotswolds, with a press night on 29 October.
When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on his estate, with a look of terror still etched on his face, and the paw prints of a gigantic hound beside his body, the great detective Sherlock Holmes is summoned from Baker Street, with Dr Watson in tow, to unravel the mysteries surrounding his death, and investigate the ancient curse of the Hound of the Baskervilles.
In the cast, Herb Cuanalo dons Holmes’ famous deerstalker hat with Hywel Dowsell as Watson and Dominic Brewer completing the trio. They play fourteen roles in total between them. Joseph O’Malley directs.
In conversation with… Herb Cuanalo
Recent Bristol Old Vic Theatre school graduate Herb Cuanalo made his professional stage debut this summer playing Oberon in The Faction’s production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He follows that with his title turn in The Hound of the Baskervilles.
Were you a Sherlock Holmes fan before this production?
Obviously, I’d heard of him, and seen the odd TV show, read the odd story. But I have to admit I wasn’t the biggest fan. Completely the opposite now, however!
The Hound of the Baskervilles aside, which is your favourite Sherlock Holmes story?
A Scandal in Bohemia; for the character of Irene Adler.
Controversial question: who’s your favourite Sherlock/Dr Watson amongst the myriad screen versions?
Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law. I know! Calm down!
What do you think it is about Sherlock Holmes that makes him so infinitely adaptable?
I think it’s his approach to solving mysteries, the way he uses his mind to get himself out of most situations. Showing those cogs turning is always enjoyable.
How many roles do you play in The Hound of the Baskervilles?
Seven, I think, sometimes I forget. Not to mention some disguises that I won’t spoil. Cecile is the most difficult, mainly due to the quick changes. That being said, I do look very nice in a dress so every cloud…
You look like you’re having a laugh in rehearsals. Any anecdotes?
Of course, there are frequent chuckles and countless smiles. Oh, there are a few anecdotes I could tell, but I would be here all day.
What’s your favourite prop in the show?
Probably my eyepatch. Due to the fact that it makes anyone look cool. That is a fact.
What’s the biggest challenge with performing a comedy like this?
Knowing when it’s funny and when it’s not funny. And that it is almost a science in how precise you have to be. A beat too late and the joke doesn’t land; a beat too early and it can get lost. It’s very tricky but very satisfying.
What would you say to London-based theatregoers about why they should come to Cirencester to see this production?
Basically, it’s an exhilarating ride with some iconic characters in ways you may have never seen them before. Also, it’s so much fun!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Does anyone ever ask you any questions? What’s your favourite Book?
Are you gonna come?
The Hound of the Baskervilles runs 24 October to 24 November 2018 at The Barn, 5 Beeches Road, Cirencester GL7 1BN. Performances are Mondays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £15-30. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!