Mike Grogan indulges his passion for Sherlock Holmes with a new play which tours to Portsmouth, Haslemere and Guildford.
Mike is both writer and director for Devil’s Drum Productions’ staging of Life After Sherlock – A Play In Two Parts.
Watson discovers that his late wife Mary Morstan may have passed away in circumstances that were not as originally thought and that other aspects of her life may not have been as they seemed.
With the help and support of old acquaintances such as Inspector Lestrade and Mrs Hudson, Watson uses his retired friend’s old deductive techniques to try to solve the mystery for himself.
As Mike promises, the story twists and turns and takes Watson from Baker Street to clandestine meetings across foggy London and also to a séance.”
For Mike, it all stems from being a complete Sherlock Holmes aficionado.
“I love that whole period,” says Mike.
“This particular play is set mid-Edwardian era, 1906, but I love that whole Victorian feel, and I also just love the characters. I have always had a passion for Sherlock Holmes. I think Holmes is such a complex character.
“Basil Rathbone as Holmes was absolutely fantastic in the part, but I sometimes think there was just a little bit too much arrogance. For me, I absolutely love Jeremy Brett as Holmes.
“He has got the swagger and the arrogance, but he has also got the vulnerability. He is the perfect Sherlock Holmes.
“When you think that David Suchet was able to do all the Poirots on TV, it would have been great if Jeremy Brett had been able to do all the Sherlock Holmes, but he was able only to do two-thirds of them, but he was brilliant.
“But I am just interested in the whole of Sherlock Holmes and everything around it. I am also a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society in London, and their angle is that Conan Doyle didn’t exist and that Sherlock Holmes was real. That’s the game.
“I wanted to do a Sherlock Holmes story, but I wanted to do a different angle, and the different angle I have taken is that it is not Sherlock Holmes’ mystery, but Dr Watson’s. Sherlock Holmes has now retired and is keeping bees on the Sussex Downs. Watson is still in London.
“Watson has married Mary and she has died. But Conan Doyle leaves it open how she died. He just says that she has died and that Watson has remarried and that his second wife has also died.
“But what happens is that Watson finds out that all it not as it seems with Mary’s death. Watson delves into it, and people are saying that he should call on Sherlock Holmes, but Watson insists that he has got the skills to try to solve the mystery himself.
“I have got a terrific actor playing Sherlock Holmes, but Sherlock Holmes and Watson don’t meet each other, though they are sometimes on the stage at the same time. They don’t meet. They are just in their own respective mind palaces.”
The play tours to Portsmouth’s Guildhall Studio, Wednesday, May 29, Thursday May, 30; Haslemere Hall, Saturday, June 8; and Guildford’s Electric Theatre, Friday, June 14.
More details on http://www.devilsdrumproductions.com.