Chester-based theatre company Tip Top Productions are making final preparations to stage their next production at The Forum Studio Theatre in the city centre.

Rehearsals are well under way to bring a laugh out loud adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes classic The Hound of the Baskervilles to the stage.

The play runs at the theatre from today (Thursday, July 24-to Saturday, August 2.

Stuart Rathe as Dr Watson in The Hound of The Baskervilles at the Forum Studio Theatre in Chester
Stuart Rathe as Dr Watson in The Hound of The Baskervilles at the Forum Studio Theatre in Chester
 

Since first being published in 1901, The Hound of the Baskervilles has been keeping generations of readers as well as theatre, film and television audiences enthralled with its classic murder mystery plot.

This new production, devised by comedy theatre trio Peepolykus, gives a madcap and extremely funny twist to what has become the most celebrated Sherlock Holmes story of all time.

Directed for Tip Top by well known director Gail Young, a talented cast of three actors, Simon Phillips, Kiefer Jones and Stuart Rathe, play no fewer than 20 characters between them in this fast-paced and supremely silly adventure which sees Holmes and Watson in a race against time to unmask a deranged killer and track down the monstrous hound.

Simon Phillips as Stapleton in The Hound of the Baskervilles at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester
Simon Phillips as Stapleton in The Hound of the Baskervilles at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester
 

Tip Top regular Simon Phillips, who is taking on the iconic role of the deer stalker wearing, pipe smoking detective, was most recently seen on stage in Tip Top's sell out revival of the John Godber classic Bouncers and also Witness for the Prosecution at The Forum Studio Theatre.

Kiefer Jones, who is playing Sir Charles Baskerville plus a whole host of other characters, made his debut with Tip Top playing the hapless Hugo Horton in the stage adaptation of the BBC classic comedy The Vicar of Dibley.

He also appeared alongside Simon Phillips in Witness for the Prosecution.

Kiefer Jones as Dr Mortimer in The Hound of the Baskervilles at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester
Kiefer Jones as Dr Mortimer in The Hound of the Baskervilles at The Forum Studio Theatre, Chester
 

Making his debut with Tip Top as Dr John Watson is Stuart Rathe from Wirral. Stuart is a regular performer with the Riverside Players.

All three actors have spent many hours in rehearsals getting to grips with the fast pace of the play and having to switch between numerous characters and costume changes.

Director Gail Young said: “The play has been great fun to work on and Simon, Kiefer and Stuart have done a great job in bringing their combined talents to the fore in what is a very manic, laugh out loud  funny, rollercoaster of a production.”

Visit www.chestertheatre.co.uk or call 01244 341296.