|Holmes, Watson, Tesla, and Adler - photo by Sean Carter Photography|
Don’t tell anybody, but I’m not a fan of Irene Adler – Sherlock Holmes romances. I take Watson at his word that it was “not that he felt any emotion akin to love” for her. But David MacGregor’s trio of Holmes-Adler plays is an exception because they put us on the inside of an inside joke.
The setup of Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Elusive Ear, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Fallen Soufflé, and Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Ghost Machine is that 221B Baker Street has become a sort of “Three’s Company” situation with Adler living there under the name “Mrs. Hudson.”
I recently caught up with the script of the third play, Ghost Machine, which won MacGregor 2023 Doylean Honors in the “Visual and Performing Arts” category from the Arthur Conan Doyle Society, presented at the Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan during Baker Street Irregulars Weekend.
Although reading a reading a play is only half as good as seeing it—at best—this tale of Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Moriarty’s daughter is a delightful romp even on the printed page. Tesla has invented a death ray, Edison has invented a machine for communicating with the dead, and both have been stolen. Only You Know Who can find them.
Along the way with get dialog with a wink, such as:
HOLMES: Everyone fakes their own death at some point.
WATSON: I’m not sure that’s entirely true.
Each of the three plays premiered at the Purple Rose Theater in Chelsea, MI, each features the same four fictional characters and two historical characters, and each has also been adapted into novels from MX Publishing. Reading the third play made me want to read the first two. Even more, it made me want to see it performed.
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