The Revenge Of Sherlock Holmes
Nomination - Special Award for Set Design (Bolton Evening News)
11th - 16th May 1998
Photographs by John Tustin
Production Officials
Director Roy E Iddon
Musical Director Adrienne Wormald
Choreographer Barbara Martin
Sherlock Holmes Michael Taylor
Dr Watson Ernest Dawson
Bella Spellgrove Vicki Wilson
Mrs Hudson Joyce Walters
Inspector Lestrade David Wilson
Mrs Moriarty Kathleen Holland
Dr 'Boffy' Martingdale David Perks
Sir Jevons Jarndyce Paul J Duckworth
Duchess of Monmouth Yvonne Neary
Wiggins David Witt
Baker Street Irregulars
Kay Brannon, Paul Brennan, Julie Kirby, Chris Hayes, Timothy West
Ros Binge, Carole Brooks, Mary Pycroft, Norma Dootson, Eddie Williams, Rita Margiotta, Claire Clarkson, Barry Newth, Mary Hodgkinson, Norma Wilcock, Lisa Swift, Jane Bickerstaffe, Hazel Gray, Louise Orsman, Janet Witt, Roger Higginbottom, Barry Cragg, Jean Maden, Barbara Haslam, Harry Lee, Dorothy Yardley, Cecilia Keefe
  • Sherlock Holmes Sherlock Holmes
  • Holmes and Watson Holmes and Watson
  • Bella Spellgrove and Holmes Bella Spellgrove and Holmes
  • Mrs Hudson with the Baker Street Irregulars Mrs Hudson with the Baker Street Irregulars
  • Holmes on his violin Holmes on his violin
  • Inspector Lestrade Inspector Lestrade
  • Bella Bella
  • Holmes, Watson and Lestrade Holmes, Watson and Lestrade
  • Dr Watson and Dr "Boffy" Martingdale Dr Watson and Dr "Boffy" Martingdale
  • Bella, Holmes and Mrs Moriarty Bella, Holmes and Mrs Moriarty
  • Bella and Mrs Moriarty escape through the skylight Bella and Mrs Moriarty escape through the skylight
  • Holmes in disguise Holmes in disguise
  • Holmes and Watson Holmes and Watson
  • Dr Watson Dr Watson
  • Bella in disguise with the Missionaries Bella in disguise with the Missionaries
  • Bella, Holmes and one of the Irregulars Bella, Holmes and one of the Irregulars
  • Bella and Holmes Bella and Holmes
  • The Company The Company

  • Bolton Evening News Review
  • NODA North West News Review
This unusual musical saw the Victorian super sleuth pitched against the evil family of his old arch rival Professor Moriarty. The production cleverly interweaved song and dance spectaculars with Holmes' hunt for his old adversary.

From the moment the curtains opened and the audience saw the two enemies plunge to their "deaths" at the Reichenbach Falls everyone was gripped. Spectacular scenery, lighting and excellent sound amplified all the principals.

Plot-line, choreography and musical score proved challenging but all were ably dealt with by a superb cast. Michael Taylor shone out as Holmes and the inter-play with his bumbling side-kick Dr Watson (Ernest Dawson) worked well. David Wilson also enjoyed his chance to shine as the bungling Inspector Lestrade. Vicki Wilson as the evil Bella Spellgrove enjoyed the limelight with some stunning solos. And a strong chorus provided a riot of colour and strong vocals in well-rehearsed company scenes, including a real old knees-up on Apples 'n' Pears, a song based on Cockney rhyming slang.

From such a talented cast it's unfair to pick a favourite but one of the biggest rounds of applause went to Joyce Walters who excelled as the hard done-by housekeeper Mrs Hudson, singing powerfully of her Lousy Life. With tickets still available for some nights this fantastic production proves an amateur dramatic group can really pull out all the stops and put on a truly professional show.

Dave Roberts
A dramatic opening to this North West Premier set the standard for an intriguing and well produced show. An impressive set of The Relchenbach Falls saw the two old adversaries plunge to their apparent "deaths" in the first moments of the production. Needless to say in the next scene at the Victoria Railway Station, in true Holmesian fashion, our hero reappears, heavily disguised as a railway porter, much to the surprise and relief of the amiable Dr Watson.

Worthy of note at this point was the effort put into the looks and costuming of the cast. All costumes had an authentic air about them whilst the Baker Street Irregulars were wonderfully scruffy and dirty. Full marks to Ernest Dawson and Mary Hodgkinson for their efforts in this department.

As the central character Michael Taylor was outstanding. The depression of the enforced retirement then the elation when he thought his old adversary was back on the scene were well portrayed. A brilliant study of a complicated character. Likewise Emest Dawson was excellent as the affable Dr Watson. Always several steps behind his companions thought processes but always trying to appear as though he was "in the know" the interplay between the two characters was very believable.

Much further back down the intellectual scale of evolution was the incompetent Lestrade. This officious, arrogant, oft times bemused Scotland Yard inspector was played with some relish by David Wilson. One did feel sorry for the poor chap occasionally. Joyce Walters completed the trio of occupants of 22 1 B Baker Street playing the much put upon Mrs Hudson. Whilst the show is not notable for recognisable melodies Joyce made an impact with the song "My Lousy Life".

The opposition came in the guise of Mrs Moriarty (Kathleen Holland) and her daughter Bella Spellgrove played by Vicki Wilson. Mrs Moriarty spends most of her time wandering through the crowd scenes in black hood and cloak to add that touch of mystery whilst Bella concentrates on a convoluted plot to trap Holmes and avenge the death of her father. Mrs Moriarty is an important cameo role which was well played by Kathleen. Bella meanwhile is something of a two edged sword. She has to be a pleasant little thing whilst inveigling her way into 221B, but a nasty piece of work when she has Holmes trapped in her studio. Overall this was a very good performance, her solo numbers being particularly strong, but a touch more vitriol would have added extra depth to the character. Of the minor principals David Perks, looking for all the world like a mad professor from some ancient sci-fi drama, was very good as Dr "Boffy" Martingdale.

Chorus work was much improved in this show although a little more use of the elevated sets would have made it that much better. Scenery was up to the high standards set by the society and, although a little noisy at times, both stage and props crew are to be complimented on coping well with some 18 scene changes. Lighting by Phil Windsor complimented the onstage action and there were some excellent sound effects.

The society has a policy which encourages its members to shoulder the production responsibilities. This resulted in an entirely new production team who made an excellent job of the show. Congratulations are due to Director Roy E Iddon, Musical Director Adrienne Wormald and Choreographer Barbara Martin. Congratulations are also due to the society for their winning entry in the Standard Class of the NODA North West Programme Competition 1997/98.

Glyn Neary

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