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Sherlock's Last Case: A Review
"Sherlock's Last Case" is a play by Charles Marowitz. I first saw this play in the late seventies and it currently being stages at the ICT MainStage. The Dupree Theater inside the Irving Arts Center, Irving Texas is where the fun begins. Our local Sherlock Holmes Society, The Diogenes Club of Dallas was well represents, having an even dozen people in attendance.
Jim Webb, Don Hobbs, & Dean Clark
The curtain rose at 8:00 PM and the sold-out crowd of 250 were immediately drawn into the Victorian Era and thoroughly entertained by the very capable acting skills of Arthur Peden, who played Holmes with the right touch of panache and aplomb. Larry Crocker's Dr. Watson was just as masterful. The opening scene, set at the flat at 221b Baker Street, has Holmes badgering Watson over a simple cup of tea. Watson who walks with the assistance of a cane must repeatedly cross the room with teacup in hand in order to satisfy Holmes requests. First he asks for a cup of tea, then for sugar, and then for lemon all the while, Watson keeps hobbling back and forth from Holmes to the tea caddy. During all of this, Holmes is also flittering around the room lighting and array of pipes. His nervous energy seems to also infect the audience.
Mrs. Hudson and Inspector Lestrade portrayed by Debbie Hurley and Charles E. Moore along with Diana Gonzales in the role of Liza round out the cast. The plot is simple enough. It is discovered after Moriarty's death, he has offspring that are bent on revenging their father's death and the threats against Holmes mount. There are plenty of twists and turns that kept the crowd on edge. The final scene of Act I has Holmes lying presumably dead, strapped to some sort of demented Dentist's chair.
The play's two sets, one at 221b Baker Street and the other a cellar were extremely well done. The stage would revolve with each half holding one scene. The play's director, J. Alan Hanna gets the most out this production with a deft hand and attention to details. Often, the Sherlockian plays I have attended have left me groaning but I left this one with a smile on my face.
Not to reveal too much of the Act II, I must at least let it be known that like the report of Mark Twain death, it was also premature to think the same of Holmes. He returns once again from the dead, so rest assured, regardless of play's title; it will not be Sherlock's Last Case.
Past 2009 Columns