I have a big post coming about Sherlock Holmes soon... stay tuned.
But before I finish that, I thought I'd let you know about the play I saw today, since it's rather related.
It was A Study in Scarlet, performed by Promethean Theatre Ensemble, and quite excellent.
If you don't know, A Study in Scarlet is the first of the Sherlock Holmes stories, where he and Dr. Watson are introduced to each other. It is the first of their adventures as a team, and the reader's first glimpse into the depths of the remarkable character that is Holmes. I have read the entire collection of stories twice, some more than that, so as you may guess, I was very excited.
I must say, it truly surpassed my expectations. I had not read the book in a while (because I was busy rereading the The Three Musketeers, as we are going to see a play of that in June). However, I had a decent memory of the plot, and as I watched the play, I remembered more. As far as I can tell, they did more than justice to Doyle's work.
The actual theatre helped a lot. I always say that straight plays are better done in intimate theatres, as opposed to musicals or operas, which require a large stage for the ensembles. This theatre was excellent in that there were only 80 seats, so we were able to see everything, down to the expressions on the actors' faces.
One thing that I highly commend the theatre company for is their disregard for the stereotypes of the characters of Watson and Holmes, and their loyalty to Doyle's original description. I highly dislike the bumbling portrayals of Watson in the Basil Rathbone films. Watson is not an idiot. He's a highly trained doctor. Watson is not clumsy. And Watson is not old. At all. Both Holmes and Watson are actually in their twenties in the first book. And this production respected that. The actors who played Holmes and Watson were young, possibly in their late twenties, early thirties. And the fellow playing Watson was actually taller than Holmes, handsome, and not a bit fat or bumbling. Quite elegant. It was all very refreshing.
The actor playing Holmes was excellent as well - observant, astute, rather full of himself, and somewhat hyper and high strung. Perfect! Lestrade and Gregson (the Scotland Yard detectives) were spectacular as well - especially Gregson, who was more full of himself than Holmes, if that's possible.
All in all, it was a spectacular production. If you can, you should go see it - you will enjoy it tremendously.
In the meantime, stay tuned for my next post on Holmes. It should be coming no later than Tuesday.