EDINBURGH’S Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional private detective Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print in 1887 in A Study in Scarlet. His popularity soon grew with additional 56 short stories and four novels published by 1927.
Then came his screen debut in 1900 in the film Sherlock Holmes Baffled. Today, he is the most portrayed movie character in history with more than 70 actors having played the role in more than 200 films.
Next week, the World Premiere production of a new stage play featuring the sleuth, Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain, comes to The King’s, starring Robert Powell as the world famous detective and Liza Goddard as Mary Watson.
Sherlock Holmes lives in retirement on the South Coast. He keeps bees, occasionally casts his fly fishing rod, even plays his Stradivarius when the rheumatism allows.
All too aware that he’s older and slower, he’s concerned that he might have lost his touch, paranoid that he is an easy target for his enemies - there have been so many over the years. Some of whom play heavier on his mind, namely his arch nemesis Moriarty.
So when Mary Watson (wife of his former associate Dr John Watson) tracks him down to tell him she has seen her long-dead son, James, through the window of 221B Baker Street, apparently alive and well, Holmes is determined to solve the mystery and confront his own demons at the same time.
Chilling, gripping and filled with unforeseen twists and revelations, this new play featuring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary super sleuth has been commissioned by Theatre Royal Bath from award-winning dramatist Simon Reade, previously Literary Manager at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
The production reunites the dream team of Powell and Goddard following huge acclaim for their performances in Alan Bennett’s Single Spies, Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking and Agatha Christie’s Black Coffee.
One of the country’s most loved actors, Powell has received multiple awards and a BAFTA nomination for playing the title role in Franco Zefferelli’s Jesus of Nazareth.
He also starred in five series of the hit BBC comedy The Detectives with Jasper Carrott, and was Mark Williams in Holby City for six years.
Goddard’s TV credits include The Brothers, Doctor Who, Bergerac and Skippy (The Bush Kangaroo).
Sherlock Holmes: The Final Curtain, King’s Theatre, Leven Street, 28 May-2 June, 7.30pm (matinee 2.30pm), £19-£32.50, 0131-529 6000