The little known private life and inner turmoil of Britain's famous detective is the subject of this
play. It may be supposed that producing a play on the private life of
a fictional character requires a fair amount of reading between the
lines of Conan Doyle’s books - he is after all a fictional character.
This is not a production recounting Holmes’ and Watson’s ingenious and
‘elementary’ investigations solving devious and dastardly crimes,
using Holmes’ powers of observation and deduction. It in fact,
looks into the private life of the great detective, his meeting of and
dependence upon Mr. Watson, his brilliance and outshining of his
counterpart. Holmes is portrayed as a troubled and complex genius, plagued
by addiction and schizophrenia, constantly searching for stimulation
for his great intellect. His nemesis, Professor Moriatti, provides
temporary respite from boredom, but is set upon Holmes’ destruction.
The play is well produced with an excellent set showing Victorian
London’s tired charm. Exclusive dialogue between Holmes Peter Egan
and Watson Philip Franks is sympathetic and accomplished. With
atmospheric music they maintain intensity and hols attention
throughout the production, but somehow interest is missing. Although
well written by Jeremy Paul and pulling many threads together, somehow the
whole concept fails to appeal.
Perhaps as a character study, this is an interesting piece. However,
if you are looking for a romp through a twisting, turning plot, this
is not it. As the winter returns to Scotland with a
vicious sting in its tail, you would be well advised to shut out the
elements and wrap up with a mug of cocoa and one of Sir Arthur’s tried
and tested novels.