Sherlock Holmes-inspired play comes to App’s Valborg Theatre


The Appalachian Online

Meredith Warfield

Appalachian State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance will take the classic works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a new direction in the production of “Holmes: The Art of Deduction,” adding original characters and comedic flair to beloved Sherlock Holmes stories.

“Holmes: The Art of Deduction” is an work written by Derek Davidson, a theatre and dance department lecturer. Davidson was approached by a friend and asked to adapt Sherlock Holmes stories into a full-length play, focusing on providing more female roles and making the show family friendly.

The script follows the plots of short stories “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League” and “A Scandal in Bohemia,” highlighting the journey of Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson as they solve mysteries and encounter new challenges.

“This piece makes every attempt to strip away the old conventions and ideas surrounding the mysterious character of Sherlock Holmes in order to shed new light on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s piece,” said senior theatre education major Prestin Perrin, who plays Dr. Watson in the show. “It’s quick, fun and every scene is all-engrossing.”

The production will be performed in a theatre storytelling style. The actors will speak directly to the audience periodically throughout the show, as well as comment on what is happening around them.

“It’s not unique, it’s not the first time it’s ever been done, but it’s not done often,” Davidson said. “It’s done little enough that it’s still hopefully fun for the audience and that’s how it breaks the fourth wall.”

Director Teresa Lee called the play a cross-generational work that has something to offer for a wide range of audiences.

“What’s nice about this script is that it not only appeals to school-age audiences – there’s a wide appeal,” Lee said. “I think college-age audiences are going to love it. It’s very lively, it moves very quickly, it’s funny, and there are a lot of surprises.”

“Holmes: The Art of Deduction” will be presented at the Valborg Theatre from Oct. 1 through 4 at 7 p.m. and on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9 for students and $16 for adults.

Story: Aleah Warner, Intern A&E Reporter