WHEN Ben Langley was looking for the subject of his next stage show he found the answer was “elementary.”
Ha Ha Holmes – which comes to Solihull this month – is a send-up of Baker Street’s most famous resident.
Ben stars as the Great Detective, but also writes and directs the comedy – which is touring around the country: “That whole period is very funny, with men smoking pipes, and wearing tweed,” he tells the Solihull News.
“But it’s also about what’s topical at any given time. Holmes is everywhere at the moment.
“You’ve got the BBC series, which starred that strange man with the strange name – Benedict Cumberbatch! That was brilliant, and of course, there was the recent film with Robert Downey Jr in it.”
Past shows in the same series have played around with the Prince of Denmark and the Fuhrer.
“We did Ha Ha Hamlet and Ha Ha Hitler, we can do anything, so long as it begins with ‘H,’” jokes Ben.
In the latest show, starring three actors and a pianist, Holmes and Watson investigate the Beast of the Blistervilles.
Though Ben says he’s got a soft spot for theatre, he actually cut his teeth as a street performer, entertaining crowds in London’s Covent Garden.
“That taught me an awful lot about writing for stage shows, and keeping the audience interested,” he explains.
“You’ve got to try and stop people walking off, while having to deal with quite a lot of distractions.
“I remember one time Michael Jackson walked past with his entourage...another time it was a group of naked cyclists!”
q Ha Ha Holmes! comes to Solihull Arts Complex on April 23. Tickets are available on 0121 704 6962.