Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Another Triumph of Sherlock Holmes

By chance Ann and I found ourselves outside the Adelphi Theatre on our trip to London in October. I remembered it as the site of one of the greatest triumphs of Sherlock Holmes.

In 1910, acting as impressario as well as playwright, Arthur Conan Doyle signed a six-month lease on the Adelphi to put on his boxing play The House of Temperley. He also hired a cast and crew, pushing his expenses into the thousands of pounds by the time the play opened on February 11, 1910.

It closed in early June, a tremendous flop.

Always a fast writer, and made faster by necessity, Conan Doyle produced a replacement play in three weeks. It was The Speckled Band, based on the short story of the same name. The new play was a huge success, more than returning Conan Doyle's investment and transferring to the Globe after the six-month lease at the Adelphi expired.

H.A. Saintsbury as Sherlock Holmes and Lyn Harding as Dr. Grimesby Rylott (Roylott in the short story) won rave reviews for their performances. Not so the rock python in the title role. Amusingly, critics panned it as an obvious fake. So it was replaced by a mechanical snake which seemed more real!

Daniel Stashower's acclaimed biography, Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle, has a good account of this instance of Sherlock Holmes once again coming to his creator's financial rescue.

What's your favorite Sherlock Holmes play?

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