LAST summer a new riotous version of the Sherlock Holmes classic The Hound of the Baskervilles was premiered at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre.

Now the production, directed by the Octagon’s artistic director Lotte Wakeham, is heading out on a national tour calling at The Lowry next month.

The cast took some time out to answer a few questions.

What can you tell us about the character(s) you play?

Jake Ferretti: I think one of the stand-out things for me regarding Holmes is how distant he can be (especially to Watson) and, whilst being unimaginably intelligent, his emotional intelligence leaves a lot to be desired. But, I kind of love him for that.

Serena Manteghi: I play a whole host of colourful characters including Sir Charles Baskerville, Dr Mortimer, a helpful London cabbie, three “yokels” (one wise, two less so) and last but not least, the romantic lead (after Dr Watson, of course) and newest Squire of Baskerville Hall; Sir Henry Baskerville!

Niall Ransome: I play Doctor Watson. Literature’s most famous sidekick. He’s been such a fun part to get to grips with. He has a real puppy dog loyalty in this show and it’s fun to play him as a total idiot. A competent incompetence really. In the books Watson is normally the readers ‘in’ to the story and it’s nice to find the fun in him with this.

What are you most looking forward to in the show?

JF: The ridiculousness of it all. Let’s face it, we’ve all had an indescribably horrific time over the past two years and to be a part of a super fun, super funny piece (IN AN ACTUAL THEATRE!) … I can’t wait to get it in front of people now.

SM: Blimey, I’m not sure if I could choose one thing in particular! Also, I don’t want to give anything away… that said, there is a rather stunning Tango sequence, if I do say so myself.

NR: There’s so much I enjoy about it and it’s a very physical show for all of us. Anything with the three of us all on stage together I think. It’s been so much fun finding the dynamics with each other and trying to catch the others out. Trying to surprise ourselves and make everyone laugh, that makes this show exciting.

What do you think could be challenging?

JF: Getting my costumes on in time.

SM: There are certainly parts of the show that require feats of Olympian dexterity but any caution felt is likely more a reflection of my own personal shortcomings. Other than that, my greatest challenge will be trying not to laugh at my comrades’ superb comic performances.

NR: It’s such a quick play. Most comedies and farces are like fast trains and if you fall off it’s pretty hard to get back on again so I guess we have to ride the wave!

Were you already a fan of Conan Doyle’s books and any previous TV or film adaptations?

JF: One of the things I love about the Holmes stories is how dark they are. Though we are not playing it in this way, Holmes is quite a dark character and I love that Arthur Conan Doyle was bold enough to put those ideas to paper.

SM: I think the books are woven so deeply and lovingly into our cultural vocabulary that, growing up in the UK, you feel the infamous Holmes and Watson are just a part of the literary furniture, as it were. Like Father Christmas. That said, I absolutely loved the recent BBC adaptations and would tune in as soon as they were aired for fear of someone spoiling the mystery.

NR: I LOVED the books growing up and have re-read quite a few of them in the past few years. It’s so iconic so hard to avoid really. The Moffat/Gatiss series got so much right and was rightly very popular but I also really liked a few episodes of Elementary too.

What are you looking forward to most about touring?

JF: Eating! Niall, Serena and I are huuuuuuuuge foodies and we have some deliciously delightful places we plan on testing whilst there.

SM: Ooh! This is a great question! I think probably I’m most excited about enjoying a culinary exploration of the UK as Jake, Niall and I are all passionate eaters. I am currently compiling a list of the best ice cream vendors in all our touring stops. If you have any recommendations for your favourite coffee/food/sweet treats in your home town, please do tweet @serenamanteghi

NR: After the last year and a half, getting to visit some amazing theatres and the cities they’re in is going to be amazing. It feels like we’ve all been stuck in one place for so long so it’s going to be very exciting to get back on the road. And getting this show in front of different audiences all around the country, each for a week at a time then packing up the car and onto the next, is going to feel brilliant.

Describe the play in 3 words

JF: Fun from beginning.

SM: Spooky joyous fun.

NR: Book tickets now

The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Lowry, Salford Quays, February 1 to February 5. Details from