Holmes Sweet Holmes

or 'The Old Time Music Hall Mystery'

written & directed by Laurie Heatherington

A play with music based on "A Scandal in Bohemia" and "The Case of the Illustrious Client" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. With apologies and thanks to W.S. Gilbert, Sir Arthur Sullivan and also all the writers for the Old Time Music Hall whose work we use.

November 1988

Thursday 24th
Friday 25th
Saturday 26th

The action is set in Old London Town at The Old Collins Music Hall one autumn almost a century ago when Sherlock Holmes is at the peak of his powers.

Act I

Opening sequence
Scene 1 : Holmes's Rooms at 221b Baker Street
Scene 2 : The Stage of the Old Collins Music Hall
Scene 3 : Backstage at the Music Hall
Scene 4 : Holmes's Rooms at 221b Baker Street
Scene 5 : A London Street

Act II

Opening : The Stage of the Old Collins Music Hall
Scene 1 : A London Street
Scene 2 : Inside St Monica's Church
Scene 3 : Backstage at the Music Hall

Beerbohm Stump, adroitly adept at alliterationBrian McFarland
Sherlock Holmes, the doyen of detectivesJohn Savage
Dr John Watson, his solid supporterJames McLauchlan
Gertrude Hudson, landlady extraordinaireRenee Heatherington
The King of Bohemia, a man of mysteryAlan Jobson
The Baker Street Irregulars, tattered but trueCarolyn Pike
 Gill Hefford
 Katie Winton
 Ruth Crawford
 Bianca Mudu
 Sharon Selby
 Stephanie Jones
 Simon Prendergast
Irene Adler, the diva divineAnthea McLauchlan
Tillie, feats of strength and memoryPauline Harkness
Kitty Winter, springing from the chorusCarol Brown
Godfrey Norton, seen by all the best judgesJeff McCracken-Hewson
Violet de Merville, only a soldier's daughterFiona Soutar
The Baron Gruner, elegantly evilClive Long
Gorgiano, dastardly deeds dreadfully doneNorman Burgess
Professor Moriarty, still an infant in infamyOliver Broadway
Shinwell Johnson, the cockney costerMichael Sparks
The Vicar, none quickerSidney Broadway
Ladies & Gentlemen of the ChorusSamantha Clemson
 Margrit Pike
 Mair Riordan
 Kathryn Sizeland
 Dennis Lammas
 Geoff Moxon
Director and PianoSheila Bailleau
Double BassErica Gerrard
OboeValerie Bignell
PercussionRoy Mistry
Tap dances choreographed byMelodie Hughes
Backstage Team
Stage ManagerDerek Burtenshaw
Set designed & cut-outs made byAllan Stevens
Set built byNorman Burgess
  assisted byDennis Lammas
LightingSteve Mansell-Jones
  assisted byIan Henderson
Sound EffectsDerek Sizeland
PropertiesFiona Soutar
CostumesChristine Fells
  assisted byCarolynn Shaw
 Kathleen Parker
 Dorothy Moir
Company ManagerBeryl Hughes
House ManagerLyn Cameron
PublicityCarol Brown
Box OfficeBetty Burgess
 Norman Burgess

Programme Notes

This year marks the centenary of the appearance of the first Sherlock Holmes book - "A Study in Scarlet". Although judged too short for a novel and too long for a short story, the book nevertheless sold out and, like the rest of the Sherlock Holmes canon, has never been out of print since. The stories have been translated into all the major languages of the world and created a cult that still persists today. So much so that the Building Society which now occupies 221 Baker Street has to employ someone full time to answer correspondence still being addressed to Sherlock Holmes!

The famous detective's period of activity coincided with the great days of the Music Hall and I have tried to bring both these very English institutions together in "Holmes Sweet Holmes", which is my centenary tribute to the great man. The two stories on which the play is based appeared originally in The Strand Magazine, but neither was set in a Music Hall, so I have had to take a few liberties to bring that about. Also, although the elements of the two plots remain, as does much of the dialogue from the stories, quite a lot of additional dialogue has been added. You should have no difficulty in identifying which is which!

With the exception of Tillie and the Music Hall Chairman who are inventions of my own, all the characters in the play are drawn from these or other Sherlock Holmes stories. Of course, whether Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would recognise them all as his creations, is another matter entirely. I take comfort in the thought that, as the author had begun to find his most famous character a burden he could not get rid of - although he tried - the thought of Holmes being sent up a bit would not be enough to make him turn in his grave. Perhaps he is even laughing at the joke. I hope so. And I hope you do too.

L.N.H. November 1988

Our next production is
Next Production
We are Three Sisters
Thur 25 to Sat 27 April 2024 at 7.30pm
Book now
Buy Tickets Online

Facebook Twitter