REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes and The Ripper Murders – at the Festival Theatre, Malvern, from Tuesday, July 21 until Saturday, July 25, 2015.

IT didn’t take long to deduce this was a night of top notch entertainment, after all - there were plenty of clues.

Written by Brian Clemens, who was a prolific creator of TV series from the 1960s onwards such as The Avengers and My Wife Next Door, along with numerous films, the play’s pedigree was already established.

Then throw into the mix a seasoned cast well known for their stage, tv and film appearances and a grisly tale involving the master sleuth, Holmes, and you can’t really go wrong.

The play’s UK tour has gone ahead as a tribute to Clemens following his death in January and it is quite a family affair as both his sons are heavily involved in this captivating 'talking Scarlet' production with Sam Clemens playing Holmes, impressively so, and George Clemens operating behind the scenes as technical director.

This thriller is based on the notorious Jack the Ripper case and dramatic music, along with bloodcurdling screams, help crank up the atmosphere, while adding to its quality were the sound effects and an imaginative set which cleverly used images projected onto a backdrop.

It’s virtually gone right back to its roots with Holmes, and faithful sidekick Dr Watson (George Telfer), seeking out the truth in the grimmest and darkest corners of Victorian London. There’s not really any hint of a Cumberbatch clone here - a force that took away some of the old established traits in the tales from Baker Street but it does make the most of a number of amusing moments.

Admittedly Sam Clemens has done away with the deerstalker as he ponders possible conspiracies and other theories and tries to puzzle out whose footsteps in the fog they might have been as the death count grows among the ladies of the night.

He and Telfer gel together in a fine partnership as they hold centre stage but they do have outstanding support all around including Kim Taylforth (Mrs Hudson), Andrew Paul (Sir William Gull) and Michael Kirk (Netley). There’s hardly a flaw to speak of.

And the conclusion? A good night’s entertainment and a fine tribute to Brian Clemens.