Sherlock Holmes (play 1899)
From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Sherlock Holmes: The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner is an American play in 4 acts, produced by Charles Frohman, written by Arthur Conan Doyle and William Gillette, performed for the first time on 12 june 1899 at the Duke of York Theatre (London, UK), on 23 october 1899 in Buffalo (NY, USA) and on 6 november 1899 in Broadway, New York (NY, USA).
Though the play was written at first by Arthur Conan Doyle in 1897, William Gillette re-wrote it so much that the story is very different than the original one.
Note that the very first performance given at the Duke of York's Theatre (London), for copyright purposes, in presence of an audience comprising three persons only : Charles Frohman, William Gillette and Annie Russell. So William Gillette was not the first one to perform Sherlock Holmes of his own play.
Conan Doyle about the play
- « ... about the first [play], which was produced very much earlier, in fact at the time of the African war. It was written and most wonderfully acted by William Gillette, the famous American. Since he used my characters and to some extent my plots, he naturally gave me a share in the undertaking, which proved to be very successful. "May I marry Holmes?" was one cable which I received from him when in the throes of composition. "You may marry or murder or do what you like with him," was my heartless reply. I was charmed both with the play, the acting and the pecuniary result. I think that every man with a drop of artistic blood in his veins would agree that the latter consideration, though very welcome when it does arrive, is still the last of which he thinks. »
- Letter to Mr Gillette (25 october 1929)
Text of the play
- Sherlock Holmes : Herbert Waring
- Alice Faulkner : Ida Conquest
- Others actors : J. D. Beveridge, Percy Lyndall, Eugene Mayeur, John Beauchamp, Hubert Willis, Julian Cross, Keith Wakeman.
Official Premiere at the Star Theater, Buffalo, NY, USA (23-25 october 1899)
- Sherlock Holmes : William Gillette
- Doctor Watson : Bruce McRae
- John Forman : Ruben Fax
- Sir Edward Leighton : Harold Heaton
- Count Von Stahlburg : Alfred S. Howard
- Professor Moriarty : George Wessells
- James Larrabee : Ralph Delmore
- Sidney Prince : George Honey
- Alfred Bassick : Henry Herrman
- Jim Craigin : Thomas McGrath
- Thomas Leary : Elwyn Eaton
- "Lightfoot" McTague : Julius Weyms
- John : Henry S. Chandler
- Parsons : Soldene Powell
- Billy : Henry McArdle
- Alice Faulkner : Katherine Florence
- Mrs. Faulkner : Jane Thomas
- Madge Larrabee : Judith Berolde
- Thérèse : Hilda Englund
- Mrs. Smeedley : Kate Ten Eyck
- Act 1 : Drawing Room at the Larrabees — Evening.
- Act 2 :
- Scene 1 : Professor Moriarty's Underground Office — Morning.
- Scene 2 : Sherlock Holmes Appartments in Baker Street — Evening.
- Act 3 : The Stepney Gas Chamber — Midnight.
- Act 4 : Doctor Watson's Consulting Room — Kensington — The Following Evening.
- The Daily Telegraph (15 june 1899, p. 7)
The Era (17 june 1899, p. 12)
Auckland Star (12 august 1899)