Sherlock Holmes’ virtual and interactive show will return to Shanghai

Sherlock Holmes’ virtual and interactive show will return to Shanghai

Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hung Parliament, a virtual and interactive show, will run on the Tencent Meeting video-conferencing platform until June 30. Shows have started making their return to online platforms, even though Shanghai is still closed due to the recent COVID- 19 outbreak.

One of the latest to be released is the Shanghai Grand Theater's first virtual production, Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Hung Parliament.

The virtual and interactive show will run on Tencent Meeting, a video-conferencing platform, and will be produced by Shanghai Grand Theater, Harmonia Theatrical and MG Live.

Each show will last 90 minutes and can be attended by four to 10 audience members.

The theater released tickets for a second round of the show will run from July 1 to 15 due to the warm response to the production. More than 60 percent of the tickets have been sold due to the warm response to the production. A spinoff from the Sherlock Holmes Adventures, the play was adapted from the English production by Les Enfants Terribles, an award-winning theatre company from Britain.

The story begins with three Cabinet members murdered and Holmes missing in action.

Each audience member will play the role of a new Scotland Yard recruit and work together with John H. Watson, played by a professional actor, to solve the case.

Following instructions and prompts from Watson, audience members will get to interrogate suspects, analyze crime scenes and collect evidence, sometimes by themselves, sometimes in a team.

They will also be involved in group discussions and use their skills of deduction. After the flu, we hope that the online production will be a restart of theater operations and let people know that the shows are back, says Cao Yebo, general manager of Harmonia Theatrical.

People from all over the country have taken part in the show, according to Cao. An advantage of virtual theatre is that it breaks the barrier of distance or location, allowing people to meet at an agreed time for a shared theatrical experience, he says.

Twenty actors have been recruited to play Watson, who will also act as a host for the show.

Having to manage multiple responsibilities, including operating online props from their computers, can be challenging for these actors, according to Tang Yuze, vice-director of Chinese production.

Tang adds that such a unique theater experience is new for audiences as much as it is for the actors.

While acknowledging that the show is similar to online murder mystery games, which have been immensely popular in China, Cao points out that the focus of the show is more on the theatrical aspects and storytelling rather than game mechanics.

Cao says that they hope to set the bar with good acting, logistical support and audience service.

The production is the latest experiment from the Shanghai Grand Theater's online theater program, which kicked off two years ago.

This will involve more interactions with the audience. Zhang says that our ultimate goal is to bring more internet users to the theater, and we look forward to meeting audiences here at the live show.