Adaptation Discussion · Play Reviews

The Return of Sherlock Holmes- Play Review

Written by Jim Clelland (@UrbanSpaceman64)

The Return of Sherlock Holmes, adapted by Owen Thomas and taken from the short story The Empty House by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is a highly entertaining two-handed play starring Michael Roy Andrew as Dr John H Watson, and Nigel Miles-Thomas as Mr Sherlock Holmes, and directed by Anthony Shrubsall, wonderfully captures the spirit of Mr Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John H. Watson.

We first encounter Dr Watson as he contemplates life some months after the reported death of his friend Sherlock Holmes. Once the man of action, now waiting for the next adventure to come his way, he sits and waits at home. We see him reading the story of Ronald Adair and his mysterious shooting. He wonders how he could help with the case, wonders what his friend would do if he were still alive and sets out to assist the authorities in tracking down the criminal responsible for the death of this young man.

As he wanders the streets of London and the scene of the crime, he takes notes, he observes his surroundings, but fails to notice a bookseller, bent double with age, and bumps into him almost knocking him to the ground. The bookseller admonishes Watson for the potential damage to his books, and they part perhaps not in the best of terms. Later that day the old bookseller enters 221b Baker Street to apologise for his abrupt manner earlier and… well I think as Sherlock Holmes fans we all know what happens next.

Like a lot of terrific plays at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where I saw this show performed, the set is minimal, the props basic, a couple of chairs, a coat stand, a table, a few hats and scarves, but that is all that is needed when the love for the story and the characters comes across from the cast.

I would recommend this play to anyone who wants an hour of Holmesian entertainment. It is an hour where you can soak up the atmosphere and lose yourself in the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and that of Mr Sherlock Holmes.


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