Sherlock Holmes

Venues:
7 October-2 November, Eisenhower Theatre, Kennedy Center, Washington, DC, USA;
4 November 1974- 1 February 1975, Broadhurst Theater, New York, USA.

Cast & Crew

Cast

Alfred Bassick
Alice Faulkner
Billy
Count Von Stalburg
Doctor Watson
James Larrabee
Jim Craigin
John
John Forman
Lightfoot McTague
Madge Larrabee
Newsboy
Parsons
Professor Moriarty
Sherlock Holmes
Sidney Prince
Sir Edward Leighton
Terese
Thomas Leary
Unnamed parts
Unnamed parts
Unnamed parts
Unnamed parts
Unnamed parts
Unnamed parts

Crew

Designer
Director
Light Designer
Music by
Playwright
Playwright

Photographs

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Play description

(Courtesy of Wikipedia) ‘Sherlock Holmes’ is a four-act play written by William Gillette and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, based on Conan Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had always had an interest in writing for the stage but his efforts had yet to show any success. Recognizing the success of his character Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle decided to pen a play based on him.

American theatrical producer Charles Frohman approached Conan Doyle and requested the rights to Holmes. While nothing came of their association at that time, it did inspire Conan Doyle to pen a five-act play featuring Holmes and Professor Moriarty. Upon reading the play, Frohman felt that it was unfit for production and instead persuaded Conan Doyle that actor William Gillette would be an ideal Holmes and would also be the perfect person to rewrite the play. Gillette, a successful playwright, donned a deerstalker and cape to visit Conan Doyle and request permission not only to perform the part but to rewrite it himself.

The play itself drew material from Conan Doyle’s published stories “A Scandal in Bohemia”, “The Final Problem”, and A Study in Scarlet, while adding much that was new as well. As the plot was largely taken from Doyle’s canon, with some dialogue directly lifted from his original stories, Doyle was credited as a co-author, even though Gillette wrote the play.

Gillette took great liberties with the character, such as giving Holmes a love interest. While Conan Doyle was initially uncomfortable with these additions, the success of the play softened his views; he said, “I was charmed both with the play, the acting, and the pecuniary result.” Doyle later recounted how he had received a cable from Gillette inquiring, “May I marry Holmes?”, to which Conan Doyle replied, “You may marry him, murder him, or do anything you like to him.” The love interest was modelled on Irene Adler’s role in “A Scandal in Bohemia”, with Gillette reinventing the character and renaming her “Alice Faulkner”.

Observations

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