The Hummertons appear chipper and cheerful. But maybe they aren’t as innocent as they look.
One of the many wonderful things about Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Basketballs is that it’s peopled – or perhaps I should say ‘puppetted’ – with characters inspired by real flesh and blood folk who are near and dear to the heart of our community.
Characters such as Robert and Kristine Hummerton (pictured above), for example, bear a striking resemblance to our very own Humm-ers Rob and Kris Riendeau. And not in first names and good looks alone.
Like the Riendeaus, the Hummertons are publishers, albeit in the Almonte of 1893 when the Hound is set. They are cornerstones of the late 1890s community, just as the Riendeaus are now, in 2022. But that’s where the similarities end.
The Hummertons are brother and sister, not husband and wife, and their behaviour, without giving too much away, is a little odd. They look affable enough, but they seem to be hiding something. Then again, almost everyone in any murder mystery I’ve ever read or watched harbours skeletons in their closets. It’s the nature of the beast. Or hound, as the case may be.
Anyway, what Robert and Kristine might be hiding – whether innocent or nefarious – is tough to discern. Are they murderous perpetrators? Or meritorious siblings? Will they too, become victims of the marauder on the moor before the final curtain falls? Or will they escape its juggernaut jaws?
One thing is certain, Robert Hummerton seems to know an awful lot about the evil Hound whom he claims to have seen with his ‘very own eyes.’
“Yes. ‘Tis true.” Hummerton soliloquys in Act I, Scene 10. “A foul beast. Eyes aglow with the fires of hell. Cursed blood flowing from its gaping maw. And fangs as long as [
What exactly does that familiarity mean, if anything? All will be revealed in the denouement, which will leave you breathless with amazement and full of glee for having bought a ticket and attended a performance of the Hound sometime between May 12th and 15th.
Only a handful of us are privy to the ending – the scriptwriter, director and cast, of course. And me. Because I’ve been to the rehearsals, which you may read more about here.
Even the four members of the Puppets Up! Board of Directors, of which, coincidentally, Kris Riendeau is one, don’t know if the dog really did it or if it’s simply a big pile of doo doo. Ya gotta go to the show if ya wanna know the ending.
Also coincidentally, the Humm is one of the Hound’s five sponsors. Some might find that surprising, given the amount of volunteer time Kris is already putting into Puppets Up! as a board member. But it’s not really. Both Kris and Rob are incredibly generous with their time and creative energy, which they give in large quantities to our community. It’s like I said in the piece about 8008 Lingerie: some folks have volunteering in their blood.
I was absolutely blown away by ‘The Grinch’ the first Christmas I was in Almonte. And, like everyone in Mississippi Mills I was deeply disappointed when Sketchy Santa had to be cancelled because of Covid. I had tickets to two of the four shows! I can’t even imagine how devastated Rob, who wrote the show, and Kris, who directed it, must have felt. And I know for a fact they were heartbroken for the cast and crew who had worked so hard on the production. Now that I’ve experienced it myself as a co-producer, I am stunned by the level of commitment required to put on an event of this kind. (More about that here and here.)
Volunteers and sponsors contribute so much to our community. We need to remember to recognize and support them whenever we can.
© 2022 Susan Macaulay. I invite you to share my poetry and posts widely, but please do not reprint, reblog or copy and paste them in their entirety without my permission. Thank you.