TEEN AMBASSADOR: HANNAH CHAMBERLAIN | MARCH 20, 2016
The series of twelve books, The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, swept readers off their feet as they experienced the hectic and exciting life of Sherlock Holmes and Dr.Watson. These books, written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and published in 1892, have had, and will continue to have a long-lasting impact on the world. When you think of the age old classic, you think of a man, Holmes, solving all of these incredibly complex and odd crimes. Aquila Theatre, based in New York City, decided to put a new and modern twist on things. Why can’t Holmes be a woman? Since these books are considered to be classics, many would say: “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” referring to Holmes staying a man. But since there have been so many other changes made to the original books, why not just change one more thing?
During the pre-show meet and greet with two of the cast members, we learned that there were only going to be five members in the cast. The fact that there were only five cast members didn’t hold back the ability of these five people to tell the stories as well as anyone else would.
The first mystery to be solved was about a governess, Miss Violet Hunter. Miss Hunter was thinking about taking a job at a man, Mr. Rucastle’s, house as a nanny. Miss Hunter senses there’s something strange going on in the house, so she consults with Sherlock Holmes. In the end, Holmes and Watson find that a person is being held in Mr. Rucastle’s house and it was his daughter. She ended up freeing herself right before Holmes and Watson got there.
In the second short story, we are introduced to a man who has been married to his wife for three years and his wife is starting to act very secretive around him. The man then goes to Holmes to get her advice. Following Holmes’s orders, the man goes into the cottage his wife had been visiting, against his wife’s wishes, and finds a young child in there. His wife then explains that this child was from her first marriage and that the child is ill so she was trying to help the child by giving her food and shelter. She didn’t tell her husband because she thought that he wouldn’t accept the child into the family.
The final short story was about a man, the King of Bohemia, who wants to get a photograph back from his ex-wife, Irene Adler. Irene has been hiding the photo, and in order to find it Holmes comes up with a plan so that Irene will reveal where the picture is hidden. The plan was to fake an emergency and see where Irene went first because that would be what she wanted to save the most. We saw this scene happen once, then to see where the photo was hidden the actors rewound the scene so we could see clearly what happened. The picture is revealed and finally, the king realizes the picture is as safe with his ex-wife as it would be with him.
Overall, the show was directly connected to the original books, very comical, and all of the actors did a great job playing multiple characters and still being able to carry the story along. Also, they used the stage very well and made you use your imagination in order to get pulled into what was going on. In the beginning, Holmes being a woman was very shocking to most, but after a while, just like in society, it began to seem more normal. So, that takes us back to the question: Why can’t Sherlock Holmes be a woman? Some may say that it wasn’t what the author intended or that it’s not traditional enough. But, as society changes, stories and books change with it. So…why not?