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

Click on these links for publication details of editions used for indexing:

short stories | novels | children's stories

The Speckled Band (Arthur Conan Doyle)
May 24 - 29: Victoria Opera House, Burnley, England
May 31 - June 5: Theatre Royal, Leeds, England
June 21 - 26: Theatre Royal, Birmingham, England

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


War time has, in some ways, proved the paucity of reserve and of creative resource of the average drama house. Happily, at the Leeds Royal, there has been found a via media for a fortnight at the outset apparently, and that s the reproduction of plays, which somehow or other, despite their undeniable distinction, had but a brief run at the principal theatres. Among these plays stands easily the stage version of Conan Doyle’s incident under the title of “The Speckled Band,” which for a second time, was presented in the city at the Royal last night.

It raises, incidentally, how far the ability of the dramatist makes subservient the ability of the artistes. Between the representations of the two there can be no decisive issue, and the presentation at the Royal brings no conclusive evidence either way.

All the parts, particularly those taken by Mr S.P. Goodyer Kettley, Mr William J. Greene, Mr Lawrence J. Lawrence, Miss Beatrice Sinclair, and Miss Beryl Forbes, had a presentation which indicated that they had caught the motifs of the author and yet had, to an extent, a certain amount of individuality.

Yorkshire Evening Post, Tuesday 1 June 1915
found at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk


Sherlock Holmes Drama at the Royal.

A Sherlock Holmes story is one that is always acceptable to the British public. It is a dramatized version of one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best-known stories, "The Speckled Band," that is being played at the Royal this week, and the audience plainly showed by their reception of it that it does not lose any of its interest in the dramatising.

Mr Lawrence J. Lawrence in the part of Dr Grimesby Rylott, the hot-tempered stepfather and murderer, was a great success. He displayed a real depth and wealth of character. Mr S.P. Goodyer Kettley made a very good Sherlock Holmes, but the triumph of the evening was shared by Mr Lawrence and Miss Beryl Forbes as Enid Stonor. A more charming maiden in distress it would be bad indeed to find.

The setting was good, and scenic effects – not omitting the real snakes – were remarkably well adapted to the piece.

Birmingham Daily Gazette, Tuesday 22 June 1915
found at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk