Pictured here is Jason Steele as Sherlock and Lee Weselak at Professor Moriarty in one of the performances of the successful Sherlock Holmes series. The latest installment, The Second Stain, opens Sept. 20th in the Nickle Studio. David Dinan photo

Sherlock Holmes series continues with The Second Stain

The series has met with tremendous success and continual sell-outs

A new season of shows focusing on the iconic Sherlock Holmes begin next week at the Nickle Studio.

The Second Stain opens Sept. 20th at 7:30 p.m.

Additional shows run through to Sept. 22nd as well.

Adapted and directed by Albertus Koett, the series first started in the fall of 2017 with a brilliant interpretation of A Study in Scarlet. The series continued this past winter with a trio of one-acts – The Red Headed League, The Boscombe Valley Mystery and A Scandal in Bohemia. And wrapping up the 2017/18 season was The Sign of Four.

From the start, the series has met with tremendous success and continual sell-outs.

“It’s been a joy to do,” said Koett, reflecting on the popular string of acclaimed performances. “For me, this has been the most fun I’ve had doing theatre I think ever. The effort that every single person involved in the production has given is also just staggering and humbling.”

Written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Sherlock stories hold an almost timeless and universal appeal, and Koett has tapped into the heart of these books in continually clever ways.

When he embarked on writing the series, he developed a story arch that will ultimately wrap up at the end of the 2020 season.

“With (The Second Stain), just like all of them, I have an over-arching narrative for where I want it to go,” he said. “The Second Stain also draws on source material from a few Conan Doyle works including The Second Stain, The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans and elements from The Final Problem,” he said, adding that this particular show is both a continuation from the last plays but it’s also something of a fresh exploration into some new territory as well.

“With A Study in Scarlet last season, we were very true to the source material and I took very few liberties with it. As we have progressed, I have taken more and more liberties. So the intent was to start off with something familiar and then build from there,” he said. “One of the things I think that sets this one apart is that Dr. Watson is gone. And so Sherlock Holmes is left with not only the task of solving the mystery of Mrs. Hudson’s disappearance, but he also has to play the narrator role, too.”

Having not only adapted the stories for the stage, Koett has also masterfully directed all of them – and he’s also been featuring an array of very talented actors in each of the performances as well.

In the principle roles, Jason Steele has been starring as Sherlock with Paul Sutherland as Dr. Watson, Lorraine Stuart as Mrs. Hudson and Trysten Luck as Inspector Lestrade.

“The scripts of course inform the actors, but the actors also inform the future scripts, too,” he said. “Working with the crew that I have, I find myself more writing to their strengths and where I think they can go as actors. That has really helped the writing process. Already I have richer characters,” he said.

Interestingly, when Conan Doyle had Sherlock Holmes killed off in one of the stories, people in and around London in particular were both devastated and outraged. Some even wore black arm bands as a symbol of grief in losing such a beloved character. To their relief, Holmes re-appeared about six years later in further tales.

Koett has also said that when the Sherlock Holmes series wraps in 2020, the plan is to keep the September, February and June time slots open for other episodic interpretations of various works, too.

“It gives me energy to just keep doing it, to keep putting on these shows. We get lots of great feedback from people, and it truly has been a lot of fun.”

For ticket information, check out www.blackknightinn.ca.

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