Ah, the game’s afoot – and in the Guildhall, Watson! And there’s no mystery as to why: it’s all thanks to a new interactive, adventurous stage adaptation of Britain’s greatest detective stories, Sherlock Holmes.
York Theatre Royal’s associate company The Flanagan Collective have teamed up with Manchester based producers Hartshorn – Hook to bring Holmes to York for a six week run before heading off around the country.
Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis is an original and interactive production written by North Yorkshire playwright Alexander Wright and takes place in The Council Chamber of York’s Guildhall from August 11 until September 21.
Undoubtedly their biggest and most ambitious show to date, The Flanagan Collective will be working with the same team who have enjoyed huge success in recent years with their adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
This show in the Gillygate pub brought an audience together over food, drink and party games.
Writer Alexander, along with the show’s director Tom Bellerby, were keen to do something similar with another much loved classic.
But this time it was up-scaled from the back room of a pub to a long run in one of York’s most historic rooms.
Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis
August 11 to September 21
The Guildhall, York
£18 Adults, £16 concessions, £14 under 16s
Available from York Theatre Royal
Suitable for children aged 10 and up
Instead of adapting an existing Sherlock Holmes story, Alexander has drawn on elements of Conan Doyle’s famous works and has developed a new adventure.
We join Sherlock three years after the Reichenbach Falls, posing as a Professor of Criminology, giving a lecture on himself, the great detective and master of deduction.
Presumed dead by his closest friend Dr John Watson the pair quickly reunite and hurtle headlong into a new mystery. Their arch-nemesis, Moriarty is at large and ready for one final battle.
“Sherlock has taken over our nation – it’s had a huge resurgence,” Alexander said. “I read the stories when I was younger.
“But like many other people, I’m sure my interest was rekindled with the Guy Ritchie films and later the brilliant BBC versions. Now, I’ve read every Sherlock Holmes story I can get my hands on.”
He said Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis is about friendship as well as a good old mystery.
“It also has a damn big sword fight and a free glass of wine as well as opening up a space that’s not often used for theatre performances and that many people won’t have had the privilege of experiencing.”
Food, drink and events
The project has initiated some new partnerships in the city including the recently opened Waterstones branch on Coney Street who will host some Sherlock events.
Meanwhile the newly refurbished Gillygate pub, who will set up camp at The Guildhall to run a pre-show drinks reception 30 minutes before each show and also provide a space for after show drinks with the cast and team each night back at the pub.
A cast of three will take on the roles of Holmes, Watson and Moriarty, with Dominic Allen taking the title rol of Sherlock.
The production’s director, Tom Bellerby, is associate artist at Pilot Theatre and has previously worked in partnership with Wright to develop the Flanagan Collective’s hits Beulah and A Christmas Carol.