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)
September 29 – October 01: Perth Theatre, Perth, Scotland
February 3: Peterborough, England
February 16 - 18: Cambridge, England
February 19 - 21: Theatre Royal, Grantham, England
March 2 - 4: Colne, England
March 5 - 7: Batley, England
March 16 – ?: New Theatre Royal, Worcester, England
March 30 - April 4: Theatre Royal, Norwich, Norfolk, England
April 27 - 29: Tunbridge Wells, England

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


The celebrated play “Sherlock Holmes” was produced for the first time in Perth last night, when a large audience turned out to witness its interpretation by the Ben Greet Company. As is well known, the incidents in the piece are associated with the life of Sherlock Holmes, the famous detective, whose creation by Sir A. Conan Doyle was the talk of magazine readers of a decade ago.

The company last night gave a very clever exposition of the play, and as the principal characters were in the hands of capable artistes the intense interest was maintained up to the last.

As Sherlock Holmes, Mr Fred Sargeant gave a very capable interpretation of that character, although at times he appeared to be unduly stiff, and too measured in his movements. His enunciation, however, was excellent, and he made a capital Holmes.

As the suave Dr Watson Mr St John Medley gave a nice intelligent representation of the part, but probably the most effective part was that of the villainous Professor Moriarty, which was in the capable hands of Mr Eardley Howard. His acting was of a very high order, his power of facial expression being splendid, and a more effective interpretation of the crafty villain could hardly be conceived.

Miss Lilian Stennis proved a very capable Madge Larrabee, while the part of Alice Faulkner was sympathetically rendered by Miss Lelia Russell.

The piece is sure to attract large and fashionable houses tonight and Wednesday.

Dundee Evening Post, Tuesday 30 September 1902
found at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk



There was a good house at the new Theatre Royal, on Monday evening, and as the adventures of the greatest detective of fiction were unfolded by Mr Ben Greet’s able company, the audience were frequent and enthusiastic with their applause. “Sherlock Holmes” is a piece that appeals to all classes of theatre-goers, and it will no doubt receive its due share of appreciation from the Worcester public, to whom the play is not a stranger.

The title role is played with success by Mr Fred. Sargent. The imperturbability and sang froid of the great detective were represented, but seldom exaggerated, and several times he called up very vivid recollections of the Holmes of Conan Doyle’s “Adventures.” In the emotional passages in the last act, where William Gillette has added an element somewhat foreign to the character of Holmes, he displayed a dramatic power that was almost unsuspected.

As the Professor, Mr Clive Currie is a very villainous leader of a pretty selection of villainous characters. He and Mr Sargent gained a round of hearty applause for a piece of difficult by-play with pistols in the Baker Street scene.

Miss Daisy Robinson plays the not easy role of Alice Faulkner with true feeling, and Miss Gertrude Harrison is equally successful as Mrs Larrabee, a part which demands some versatility.

In the character of her brow-beating husband, James Larrabee, Mr Ernest Gray scores a success, and the none too penetrating Watson, Holmes’ unpromising pupil, is represented by Mr Cecil Lloyd.

Mr Charles James played John Forman in a taking way, although at times he seemed scarcely suited to the part, and the cast is completed by a choice array of ruffians and probably not less villainous servants.

Worcestershire Chronicle, Saturday 21 March 1903
found at www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk