A collection of historic reviews and articles on Sherlockian theatrical performances from contemporary newspapers.

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Sherlock Holmes (William Gillette)
(Ben Greet Company)
January 15 - 16: Barnstaple Theatre, Barnstaple, England
April w/o 19: Theatre Royal, Worcester, England

(Information above on performance dates is derived from newspaper archives and is therefore likely to be incomplete.)


“Sherlock Holmes,” the drama which has caused such a sensation in London, was produced in Barnstaple last night by the Ben Greet Company. The drama represents a thrilling story in which Conan Doyle’s famous detective gives an example of his wonderful power.

There are five acts, and the development of the story is followed with breathless interest by the audience. Last night’s performance was simply magnificent. The great scene in Act 4 – when Sherlock Holmes turns the tables on the tools of Professor Moriarty, the Napoleon of crime, in the Stepney gas chamber – was given with thrilling effect, the realism being the completest ever seen on a stage in Barnstaple.

Mr J.S. Crawley sustained the character of the great detective with a fidelity that marked him as an actor of exceptional power, while Mr D. Lewin Mannering’s Professor Moriarty was also a masterly delineation. Dr Watson, familiar to Conan Doyle’s readers as the friend of Holmes and the chronicler of the series of stories, was done full justice to by Mr Beresford Innes. As the gentlemanly scoundrel, James Larrabee, Mr Allan Wilkie scored a decided success, and Mr C.A. Collins made a capital Sidney Prince.

Miss Winifred Hope showed herself a clever and charming actress in the part of Alice Faulkner, and Miss Lewis made the most of the role of Mrs Larrabee. All the other characters were admirably taken, the production altogether being one of the finest ever seen in North Devon. The stage effects are very striking – and quite novel.

There was a very large audience last night, and the reception given to the performance was most enthusiastic. The drama will be repeated this evening and last night’s splendid performance of the play of the hour should ensure a crowded house.

North Devon Journal, Thursday 16 January 1902
found at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk