When I hear the name “Sherlock Holmes,” I imagine a magnifying glass, a pipe, the notorious deerstalker cap and a lot of adventure. The Classical Theatre Company’s rendition of “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” highlighted all of these aspects of the world’s most popular private detective, and more.
Arthur Conan Doyle, the author behind “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” and the original creator of Sherlock himself, lives on through this storybook-turned-play. The returning storybook series that imagined the adventures of Sherlock Holmes was published in 1903-1904, after Holmes’ “death” in “The Final Problem” in 1893.
“The Return of Sherlock Holmes” details two cases that fall into the hands of Holmes and his partner-in-solving-crime Dr. John Watson. The cases we see played out in front of us aren’t about figuring out who committed the crime. These cases are not really about mystery. Ultimately, what these cases are meant to do, is take the audience on the adventure with the characters.
The stage area at the Classical Theatre Company is small and comfortable, meaning every single seat in the house is close to the stage and involved with the characters. Being able to see the actors up close makes a play like “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” even more enjoyable, because it establishes a stronger relationship between actor and audience. A small stage may often be seen as a disadvantage; however, the cast cleverly utilizes their space by re-purposing props as many different objects. The ingenious ways they reuse their props makes the funny parts funnier, the sad parts sadder and really makes the audience further appreciate the hard work that goes into putting this entertainment into the world.
The actor who plays Sherlock (John Johnston) and the actor who plays Dr. John Watson (Andrew J. Love) are incredibly easy to like, and root for. We get to see multiple sides to each of these men, making the audience more engaged with their story. Sherlock becomes an intensely complex man, and the audience sees deeper parts of him that aren’t often attributed to the name Sherlock Holmes. Watson narrates, and his interpretations of these adventures kept me on the edge of my seat, and always wanting more to the story.
The other actors of “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” include Callina Anderson, John Dunn, Calvin Hudson, Jeff McMorrough and Jarred Tettey. Each of these cast members play at least two characters, and all of them successfully deliver dynamic performances for every character assigned to them. No matter good or evil, every actor perfectly embodies the traits of their many characters. There really couldn’t be a more perfect cast to recount these cases.
I can seriously appreciate the time and effort of each person that helped to bring this play to life, and I can definitely see myself going back to the Classical Theatre Company for more. I highly recommend everyone pay a visit to “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” and the Classical Theatre Company.
“The Return of Sherlock Holmes” is showing at the Classical Theatre Company through Oct. 21. General Admission is $25, Senior tickets are $20, and Teachers, Students and Industry tickets are $10. All of these tickets can be found online.