Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Desiree Sanchez
Publisher: Desiree Sanchez
Estimated Runtime: 70 minutes
Number of Characters: 19
Cast Requirements: 2 female, 1 male, 1 either
Time Period: Late 19th Century
Production Requirements: Several scenic locations, period costumes, lighting and sound effects, and period props.
The game is afoot in three classic stories reimagined with Sherlock Holmes played as a woman. In Copper Beeches, Holmes and Watson solve a mystery involving a forced impersonation and an imprisonment. In Yellow Face, Holmes makes a mistake when a missing first husband turns out to be a hidden mixed-race child. This child brings to light the racial prejudices rampant during the time period. In Bohemia, Holmes meets the infamous Irene Adler. She is involved in a blackmail case with the King of Bohemia involving an inappropriate photograph. Though Holmes cracks the case, she is still outsmarted by Adler who leaves the country with the photo. Adler promises not to use the photo unless threatened by the King, and Holmes declares herself outsmarted.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s clever detective on Baker Street works magic in three cases: The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, The Adventure of the Yellow Face, and A Scandal in Bohemia. Sanchez stays remarkably true to the original stories in this exciting, well-paced script. Characters are well developed, and the author skillfully weaves Doyle’s language with her own. The idea to change Holmes’s gender will doubtless bring out new and interesting nuances to the character. However, those choices and ideas will need to be developed in rehearsal as the only specific script changes regarding the character are pronoun changes. The content and period language of the piece lend itself to more mature young audiences (age thirteen and up), but the charm of the script makes the play just as enjoyable for the parents of those young people.