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

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Sherlock Holmes (Charles Rogers)
May 5 - 11: Alexandra Theatre, Sheffield

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


Few creations of modern authors have become more widely known or achieved greater popularity than that of Sherlock Holmes. The fertility of Dr Conan Doyle’s inventive powers has endowed his great detective with a perennial attractiveness, and it was only natural that before long versions of his adventures would be presented on the stage.
The story of some of the experiences of Sherlock Holmes, which was produced for the first time in Sheffield at the Alexandra Theatre last evening, is not the version in which Mr Gillette was so successful at the Lyceum Theatre, London. It is a melodrama of a strong type, with an abundance of sensation, and is from the pen of the late Mr Charles Rogers. In the main the story flows easily and naturally, and it was received with appreciation by a large house yesterday evening.

Of course the central figure is the familiar Sherlock Holmes, fighting his never ending battle with criminals, coolly awaiting his opportunities and maturing his plans, and striking swiftly and wisely at the moment of action. There, too, is Dr Watson, and it is in his chambers that the story opens. Holmes is on the track of an unknown murderer – Michael Hurscher, alias Professor Moriarty. Moriarty enters and searches the friends’ lodgings, but is interrupted by Dr Watson, whom he stabs and leaves as dead. Dr Watson’s child daughter, who also came in the room, is kidnapped by Moriarty. Sherlock Holmes builds the structure of facts, which leads to the recovery of the child.

Then the tale tells of the struggle between Holmes and Moriarty for supremacy – a battle of brains, in which first one and then the other seems on the point of triumph. Helen Katrides, a charming young woman known to Holmes, is decoyed from her home by Moriarty and Anarchist associates, in order to force her into marriage with a ruffian. How Holmes beards these men in their headquarters, and rescues her from their power by an uplifted hand containing a bomb, forms one of the most exciting situations in the play. In the end, Holmes is successful, and the Moriarty gang is destroyed.

A striking presentation of the character of Sherlock Holmes was given by Mr Henry S. Dacre, whilst the part of Dr Watson was adequately filled by Mr J. Lanwarne Hawkins, who is not unknown in Sheffield. The subtle criminal (Hurscher) is excellently portrayed by Mr Harold West, as is his Anarchist associate, Savella, by Mr Cowell Clarke. Of the ladies, Miss Evelyn Clyde, as Helen Katrides, was well received. They were capably supported by the other members of the company, and the dresses an scenery were tasteful and effective.

Sheffield Independent, Tuesday 6 March 1902
found at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk