Sherlock Holmes – The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle adapted by Nick Lane. Blackeyed Theatre. Streaming from 20 October 2022. 3***. William Russell

The game is indeed afoot in this spirited version of a little known Conan Doyle story about the great detective directed and written for the stage by Nick Lane. It is a complicated tale set partly in London, partly in a valley where sinister forces are at work in American – the forces are not unlike the Masons – and it is a tricky one to dramatize. There are shifts in time and place to cope with and of course there is a murder to solve. The cast of five work hard but it does involve a lot of doubling, trebling and more which can be a mite confusing. However Luke Barton is effective as a younger than usual enigmatic Holmes, and Jasper Derrington bumbles nicely as Dr Watson who narrates the tale stepping into and out of the action, while Alice Osmanski copes skillfully with a wide range of ladies from Mrs Hudson to wives abused and betrayed. In these days when going out may not be an option here is something to stay in and watch. The set by Victoria Spearing manages to be good to look at and to transform itself with the minimum of effort into a wide range of places.

Sherlock Holmes, Teddy Baldwin: Luke Barton.

Dr Watson,Thad Harris, Eldon Stenger: Jasper Derrington.

Jack Murdo, John Douglas, Detective Mason, Birdy Schwab: Blake Kubera

Inspector McDonald, Officer Jasper, Ames, Bodymaster McGinty, Professor Moriarty: Gavin Molloy.

Mrs Hudson, Officer Morim, Ettie Shafter, Mrs Allem, Mrs Ivy Douglas: Alice Osmanski.

Director: Nick Lane.

Set Designer: Victoria Spearing,

Costume Designer: Naomi Gibbs.

Lighting Designer: Oliver Welsh.

Sound Designer: Tristan Parkes.

Production Photography: Alex Harvey-Brown.

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