THE JOY OF MYSTERY
BY RISA BRAININ, DIRECTOR OF HOLMES AND WATSON
What is it about mysteries that we love so much? There is something so satisfying about solving a mystery, right? It is fun, it is challenging, and when you reach the end, you feel a sense of accomplishment. Sherlock Holmes is the great icon of mystery stories in modern fiction. Since the character was born in 1887, he has been brought to life in literally thousands of ways, including novels, short stories, plays, radio dramas, TV shows, films and even video games. He holds the Guinness record for “most portrayed movie character in history.”
Whether you have read the books or not, we all have an image of the character. In fact, the character is so specifically etched in our minds, that some people even believe he was a real person! I recently went to the Sherlock Holmes Museum in London, which is a replica of Holmes’s house on Baker Street complete with wax figures of characters. It was a bit strange to be there in the “home” of a fictional character! There are enormously long lines—every single day—to get into this museum. The fan base is extraordinary.
So, with all of the zillions of portrayals out there, how does one tell a new tale about this very old and beloved character? Leave it to Jeff Hatcher to figure that one out. Hatcher has taken the period of time between Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Final Problem,” where Holmes is supposedly “killed” by his arch nemesis Moriarty, and “The Adventure of the Empty House,” when he returns. In that moment, Hatcher hypothesizes a wonderful mystery.
I’ve always been a huge fan of Jeffrey Hatcher’s work, and have enjoyed directing several of his plays over the years. What I love most, and something most evident in this piece, is his ability to weave a complex story with humor and pathos. You get all of the fun of solving a great Sherlock Holmes mystery, and you get a little bit more. With his ironic (and sometimes sardonic) sense of humor, he is a master of dramatic tension and release. Oh, how I adore anything Hatcher!
Come see Holmes and Watson, on stage September 25 - October 21! Get your tickets here.
Pictured:The cast of IRT's 2018 production of Holmes and Watson. Photo by Zach Rosing.
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