Conan Doyle’s play, based on his short story of the same name, is infused with a healthy dose of slapstick and physical humor in our brand new adaptation. A damsel in distress, daring disguises, dangerous discoveries, and a deducing detective. Is it a mystery? Is it a farce? Is it a whodunit? Surely Sherlock will have the answers!
Sherlock Holmes. One of the most portrayed characters in the world. Featured in countless adaptations and incarnations spanning books, plays, films, radio, cartoons, musicals, and even puppet shows. How do you include everything that has made not only the character but also the world he inhabits so enduringly popular? You can’t. At least, I don’t know how you could. The sheer volume of material would perhaps boggle the mind of Holmes himself! Instead of trying, and no doubt failing, to include, reference, or pay homage to the great many versions and variants of Holmes, Watson, and their world, I chose to look at how I wanted to adapt the original play alone.
Originally published in Strand Magazine in February 1892, “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” was, according to his son, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s favorite Holmes story. On June 4, 1910, his theatrical adaptation of that story premiered at the Adelphi Theatre in London. What you are about to see is no doubt entirely different from what those audiences saw. In searching for a way to best transport you – our audience – into our story, I knew I wanted to make you active participants in creating the world. Sherlock Holmes’s greatest asset is his mind. His intelligence, his imagination. It seemed only fitting to stage the show in such a way that invites you to use your imagination – to decipher the clues, and to fill in the larger picture for yourself. No lavish set pieces required. Like a fly on the wall, you are there, witnesses to the story – more than witnesses.
By presenting our story in the round, or perhaps a ‘square-round,’ you become the walls of the rooms. The Locked Room mystery – in which a seemingly impossible murder occurs with no apparent explanation can trace its lineage to pre-biblical tales, yet still holds our fascination today, inviting us to put our powers of deduction to the test. After all, as Holmes himself says,
“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
Eclecticpond theatre company, 2015
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted & Directed by Thomas Cardwell
Stage Manager – Anna Wieseman
Sound Design – Michael Hosp
Costume Design – Cain Hopkins
Matt Anderson – Wilson, Staunton, et al
Dan Flahive – Dr. Grimesby Rylott
Kelly Gualdoni – Enid Stonor
Ryan Maloney – Dr. Watson
Patrick Mullen – Armitage, Rodgers, et al
Bradford Reilly – Sherlock Holmes