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Sherlock Holmes: The Valley Of Fear


Sherlock Holmes: The Valley Of Fear
via Digital Stream

“Just on the right side of drama, never veering into silliness”

Blackeyed Theatre is back. I last reviewed them some years ago when I marvelled at their production of Jekyll & Hyde. And, like that time, this play unsettled me at the start but soon won me over.

I think it’s the style. Perhaps the simplicity of the staging, the multi-role playing of the cast, the constant Brechtian reminders that it’s only a play because there is a narrator walking us through the story - in this case Dr Watson. Yet, director Nick Lane keeps everything just on the right side of drama, never veering into silliness.

As Luke Barton and Joseph Derrington (aka Holmes and Watson) carry the murder mystery along with a serious believability, they also play other characters in this to and fro play. There are many flashbacks to a previous story in America, switching the setting from a Victorian stately home to a Pennsylvanian town that is being run by a Peaky Blinders style mob. Back and forth we tumble as all the pieces of Sherlock’s jigsaw fall into place…

There is a lot going on in this production and, at times, it feels tiring to watch. The rhythm is slow and the pace seldom quickens. However, fans of Sherlock and whodunnits will love it, I am sure.

The hard-working cast drag themselves through the wordy script, assisted by a wonderful soundscape from Tristan Parkes.

To catch the show, it is still touring. Or, like me, you could watch it via a digital stream. Like all theatre, it’s better to be watching it live, so it would certainly be worth trying to see it before the tour finishes…

Photography Alex Harvey Brown

Running time 135 minutes (including interval)

Writer and Director Nick Lane

Composer Tristan Parkes

Set Designer Victoria Spearing

Costume Designer Naomi Gibbs

Producer Adrian McDougall

Age Guidance 11+

Twitter @Blackeyedtheatr

Digital Stream

Dates Available until midnight Sunday 22nd January 2023

Box Office £10 (multi-viewer tickets £15) via

Remaining UK Tour Theatre Performance Dates:

8th – 9th Nov The Drill, Freeschool Lane, Lincoln, LN2 1EY

10th – 12th Nov Lyceum, Heath Street, Crewe, CW1 2DA

14th – 15th Nov Royal Spa Centre, Newbold Terrace, Leamington Spa, CV32 4HN

16th – 17th Nov The Castle Theatre, Castle Way, Wellingborough, NN8 1XA

21st – 23rd Nov Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SE

24th – 26th Nov Viaduct Theatre, Dean Clough Mills, Dean Clough, Halifax HX3 5AX

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