Sherlock, Stock and Barrel by Cenarth Fox
[If possible and affordable, have your theatre lit with mock Victorian
gas-lamps or simulate this effect so that patrons enjoy the Victorian
atmosphere. Pre-show music from the Victorian era could include
Knock'd 'Em in the Old Kent Road, My Old Dutch, The Man That Broke
The Bank At Monte Carlo, Two Lovely Black Eyes, I Do Like To Be Beside
The Seaside, The Boy In The Gallery and The Man On The Flying
As the time for the play to begin approaches, fade the pre-show music
The house lights dim with a slow fade to black
As soon as the slow fade starts, the introduction to the opening song begins
Song Number 1 Mister Sherlock Holmes
[Once the house lights are down, slowly bring up a shafts of light
from above the stage so that only when someone steps into the shaft of
light can they be seen. But because there is no lighting in front of
the stage, we cannot clearly see the actors' faces.
The five actors enter upstage and form a line. When it's their turn,
each steps into the shaft of light to speak their line then, once
their short speech is over, the actor moves to one side into the stage
darkness. They only enter the light as they start to speak the
audience gets no warning of their approach. Each actor is a spruiker,
a teller of tales and not their character in the play. The next five
speeches are spoken or rather, spruiked]
WATSON Victorian England when the sun never sets on the great British
ADLER A time for change, invention, science and adventure.
MOR'ITY With Darwin, Dickens, Disraeli and Jack the Ripper.
HUDSON With Florence Nightingale, Mrs Beeton and good old Queen
[Major lighting change. Kill overhead spots and hit HOLMES C with spot
from out front]
HOLMES But mainly with me.
[COMPANY give cry of glee as solo spot is killed and lights come up on
company as they sing]
COMPANY He's the greatest man who never was
Mister Sherlock Holmes
[Spoken by Holmes "That's me!"]
Many mysteries are solved because of
Mister Sherlock Holmes [Spoken by Holmes "Elementary!"]
To him a trifle's a treasure and details divine
With observation and knowledge see sleuth Sherlock shine
Yes he's the greatest man who never was
He's Mister Sherlock Holmes
[The song is repeated sotto voce whilst Holmes delivers the speech
WATSON He needs a chum
COMPANY He needs a chum
A friendly face A friendly face
A number two to check each clue,
Transcribe each case.
Transcribe each case.
HUDSON He needs a cook
He needs a cook
On lowly pay
On lousy pay!
A busy drudge to clean each smudge
Both night and day.
Both night and day.
MOR'ITY He needs a foe
[They boo and hiss]
A nasty crim
[More booing etc]
A tough law-breaker who can
Make a fella swim.
The rotten swine!
ADLER He needs romance
And Cupid's dart
A woman in his life to melt his heart.
HOLMES [Spoken at the audience over repeat of chorus] I've never
claimed to be the first detective, simply the best. I'm fabulously
famous, my hat and pipe are icons and my name part of our language.
Other crime-solving chaps cannot even hope to compete with the
world's superior sleuth. They fade into obscurity whereas the boyo
from Baker Street is here to stay. Just call me a "living legend".
Come on, I challenge you - who hasn't heard of Sherlock Holmes?
[Shocked] He's what? Fictional? [Scoffs] Never! Just look at me!
I'm not only famous, I'm alive!
[The chorus is sung again with a coda and the company finish in
formation as the audience applauds. Before the applause has finished,
MORIARTY yells loudly]
MOR'ITY Enough! [Group separates] Stop this false bravado.
[Hubbub/distress from OTHERS]
HUDSON [Reprimanding him] Professor, behave.
MOR'ITY Without me there'd be no Sherlock Holmes.
WATSON I say, Moriarty, this is a bit ....
MOR'ITY I'm not Moriarty. [MUSIC BEGINS]
Song 2 Playing Someone Else
MOR'ITY I'm playing someone else
OTHERS He's playing someone else
QUINTET I'm/He's playing someone else.
MOR'ITY I'm Stamford.
OTHERS [Shocked. They're sure he's Moriarty] Stamford?
MOR'ITY I'm on page one of story one. But where's the
recognition I made that famous introduction?
ADLER [Realises] Oh, you're the young man who brought our friends
together. [Clasps his arm with affection] Bless you, Mr Stamford.
[Pregnant pause as the angry STAMFORD is overwhelmed by the beautiful
MOR'ITY Ah, yes ... [Indicating] Dr Watson ... Mr Sherlock Holmes.
[Women collect a chair each and place them C]
HOLMES [Moving towards WATSON as they shake hands] You, sir, have been
WATSON [Astonished] How on Earth did you know that?
MOR'ITY [As Stamford to HOLMES] My friend here [meaning WATSON]
wants to take diggings.
HOLMES I have my eye on rooms in Baker Street.
HUDSON [Indicating chair for WATSON who sits] Welcome gentlemen, I am
ADLER [Maid has imaginary note for HOLMES] An' 'ere's an'
imaginary note for Mr 'olmes.
[HOLMES sits and reads imaginary note]
WATSON And thus began the case I called A Study In Scarlet.
HUDSON Your very first murder, gentlemen.
HOLMES Scotland Yard has a body but no-one to arrest.
WATSON [Standing] Shall I go and order you a cab?
HOLMES [Standing] By all means, Watson; a taxi for two.
WATSON [Delighted, surprised] Holmes, you wish me to come?
HOLMES If you have nothing better to do.
[They swap seats which is 'climbing' into a hansom cab. HUDSON
stands behind them and holds imaginary reins. ADLER stands beside
HUDSON with real or imaginary coconut shells]
WATSON I say.
HUDSON Giddy-up. [She drives; ADLER provides sound effects saying
"Clip, clop" or using shells]
WATSON [Riding in cab] So, Holmes, what is your theory on this case?
HOLMES [Riding in cab] It is a capital mistake to theorize before you
have all the evidence. [Suddenly yells] Driver, stop! [HUDSON mimes
reining in the horse. FX stop]
[WATSON and HOLMES alight from cab. Women exit with chairs. We are in
WATSON [Looking around without walking] Is this the right house?
[MORIARTY hurries forward and lies on the floor in front of WATSON who
is still looking] Where's the body?
HOLMES Watson, you have not yet developed your skills of observation.
[Points to body]
[WATSON shocked at discovering body at his feet. HOLMES kneels and
examines the body]
WATSON [The storyteller, to audience] Sherlock Holmes examined the
MOR'ITY [As American, sits up leaning on elbow] I'm a Mormon from
WATSON I say, Holmes, are all your dead bodies so helpful?
HOLMES [Examining] This blood belongs to a second individual.
WATSON [Looking offstage] Suddenly we were interrupted by a police
[Pause. HOLMES "secretly" indicates the stiff. The penny drops
for WATSON who then gently kicks MORIARTY who twigs. He is offered
WATSON'S hand and stands]
MOR'ITY [As Mormon] Thanks Doc. [Aside as exits] It's a very small
cast. [Dashes offstage]
HOLMES [Rising, turns to face LESTRADE] Ah, Inspector Lestrade.
MOR'ITY [Re-enters as LESTRADE] Mr Holmes, another Mormon has been
WATSON Two bodies!
HOLMES Watson, it's time for the flashback! [HOLMES and MORIARTY
exit. HUDSON enters]
FX Country and western music suggesting tumbling tumbleweeds begins
WATSON [Storyteller moves to one side as narrator] Let us travel to
the deserts of America where coyotes howl ... [HUDSON gives mournful
wail] and Mormons marry.
HUDSON [As an American spruiking] Come on down to Salt Lake City,
folks. Seven brides for seven ... [Correcting herself] Make that seven
brides for one brother.
WATSON A man and a young girl were lost in the desert. [Enter MORIARTY
and ADLER as JOHN FERRIER and LUCY] Death was near when miraculously
they met some meandering Mormons. [MUSIC fades]
HUDSON [American] Food and water over here, folks.
[MORIARTY and ADLER go to HUDSON and are made welcome]
WATSON Many years went by and little Lucy grew into a beautiful woman.
[LUCY parades] She met her hero, Jefferson Hope, and they fell in
love. [LUCY swoons blows kisses]
OTHERS [Sigh as in ain't that sweet] Ahhhh.
WATSON But two nasty Mormons fancied Lucy for their harems.
MOR'ITY [Quick aside-American] I was one of them Mormons playing
that stiff back in London. [Winks, gives thumbs up then retreats to
WATSON To escape the evil men, Jefferson helped Lucy and her
step-father escape ... [MORIARTY and LUCY tippy-toe to one side
towards HUDSON] but the murderous Mormons had other ideas.
HUDSON [Steps towards FERRIER and fires imaginary gun] Bang! [FERRIER
is shot and falls dead]
ADLER [Melodramatic] Step-father!
WATSON Those brutal baddies shot the step-father and kidnapped Lucy.
ADLER [Screams miming being grabbed by the baddies] Help! Let me go!
WATSON [Miming not being subtle. Whispers] Get off! Get off! [LUCY
gets the message and exits still screaming] Lucy's lover, Jefferson
Hope, was distraught as his darling girl died of a broken-heart.
Jefferson swore revenge on the murderous Mormons.
[LIGHTING closes to restricted area which is the fireplace at 221B.
HOLMES enters. HUDSON enters with chair talking as she goes even if
in darkness. MORIARTY exits]
HUDSON [Announcing] And now let's visit the famous Baker Street home
of the world's greatest consulting detective and his friend, Doctor
Watson. Your chair, Doctor.
WATSON [Moving to small lit area and sits] Thank you Mrs Hudson.
HUDSON And gentlemen, please don't take all night. We're still on
the first story. [Exits]
HOLMES So, Watson, a brief summary if you please.
WATSON For years Jefferson tracked the Mormons who stole his Lucy.
Across America to Russia, Paris, Copenhagen and now London where you,
Holmes, discovered that [Slower with emphasis, crescendo] both Mormons
were murdered by ....
HOLMES [Indicating imaginary door] Mr Jefferson Hope.
MOR'ITY [Enters as HOPE] Gentlemen. I wish to confess.
WATSON [Offering HOPE his chair] Sit man, you look ill enough to die.
MOR'ITY [Sits, upset] Well so would you. [Counts on fingers] I was
poisoned in the house, shot in the desert and now I'm about to have
a heart attack. Not happy, Doc!
WATSON Holmes, you should publish an account of this case. If you
won't, I will.
HOLMES You may do as you like, Doctor, but remember there are still
fifty-nine to go.
TRIO [Facing front, aghast] Fifty-nine! [Unison foot-stamp]
[BLACKOUT. MORIARTY exits. HOLMES sits and WATSON stands nearby in
HUDSON [Solo light] At last we get to the second mystery The Sign
FX Solo violin music [This music is used at different times to
establish the setting of the sitting-room at 221B Baker Street. Lights
up slowly. Concentrate on the men in Baker Street sitting-room where
HOLMES, mimes injecting himself and WATSON unhappily observes]
HUDSON Now I'm a respectable landlady but some of the things going
on under my roof ..... [Tut-tuts, shakes head and exits. Solo spot
WATSON Which is it today, Holmes, morphine or cocaine?
HOLMES Cocaine. Would you care to try some?
WATSON Indeed not! But tell me, have you a new case?
HOLMES None, hence the cocaine. I cannot live without brainwork.
HUDSON [Enters] A visitor, Mr Holmes a Miss Mary Morstan.
[HUDSON exits, HOLMES adjusts his clothing and he and WATSON are
MORSTAN [MORSTAN played by ADLER enters. She is young and, according
to WATSON, an absolute stunner] Gentlemen, I have lost my father.
WATSON [Starting to leave] I'll leave you two alone.
MORSTAN [Stopping WATSON] No, sir. [To HOLMES] I would like your
friend to stay.
WATSON [Chuffed] Oh really? I say, jolly good. [Offers his seat to
MARY who sits]
HOLMES [Sitting] So Miss Morstan, when did you lose your father?
MORSTAN Ten years ago he went out one night and never came back.
HOLMES Tell me of his friends.
MORSTAN Only one; a Major Sholto, father of twin boys.
HOLMES This is a singular case.
MORSTAN Six years ago I received a valuable pearl and have done so
every year since. [MARY indicates pearls at her throat. WATSON
WATSON They are the finest pearls .... [Soppy, romantic] worn by the
HOLMES [Peeved] Yes, all right, Watson.
MORSTAN [Gives WATSON eye-fluttering look then back to business, mimes
handing letter to HOLMES]
I received this strange letter today.
HOLMES [Mimes reading] Be outside the Lyceum Theatre at 7 o'clock
with two friends.
WATSON [Excited] Two friends! Holmes, that could be us.
HOLMES Let us follow the instructions and meet a coachman [Light C as
HOLMES moves there] who will drive us to a strange house in South
WATSON [MORSTAN takes his arm and they follow HOLMES] May I tell you
tales from Afghanistan?
MORSTAN Oh please do.
HOLMES And here we are.
MORSTAN [The lovers have their ardor dampened] Oh.
WATSON [Looking around] Goodness, it's very dark.
[Instant lighting change to eerie glow. MORIARTY enters as SHOLTO who
is 30, bald with red hair, nervy and speaks with a high-pitched
SHOLTO Your servant, Miss Morstan. I am Thaddeus Sholto.
MORSTAN You know of my father, Captain Morstan?
SHOLTO Our fathers served in the army but sadly both now are dead.
MORSTAN [Saddened] I knew it. [WATSON comforts her]
SHOLTO Ten years ago our fathers argued, Captain Morstan had a seizure
then fell and struck his head on a treasure-chest.
SHOLTO Six years ago my father told an amazing tale.
WATSON [Fumbling for imaginary notepad] I'll take some notes.
SHOLTO Our paters purloined a vast treasure which my father hid in his
London home. Part of this treasure was for Captain Morstan's
[WATSON and MORSTAN react]
MORSTAN [Shocked] But I'll be the richest woman in Britain.
WATSON [Love-struck] And still the prettiest. [HOLMES rolls his eyes]
SHOLTO But the treasure was hidden. All we had was one coronet
encrusted with ....
QUARTET [MORSTAN clasps pearls] Pearls.
SHOLTO You were sent one a year until yesterday when ....
SHOLTO We found the vast treasure. [Reaction]
HOLMES Then let us away to the jewels.
[COMPANY moves as if to travel. SHOLTO crosses OTHERS who face the
WATSON [Pleased] During which I can tell more tales of ....
SHOLTO [Indicating imaginary house] Pondicherry Lodge.
MORSTAN [Looking around] Oh, it's beautiful in the moon light.
[Instant lighting change to moonlit night]
HUDSON [Offstage gives shrill, sad, pitiful whimper of a frightened
woman. WATSON takes MORSTAN'S hand]
SHOLTO That's the housekeeper. [Exiting] You can't get the staff,
you know. [Exits]
HOLMES Watson, you're holding Miss Morstan's hand.
WATSON [Poetic at MORSTAN] I know, Holmes. It must be love.
SHOLTO [Enters terrified, blubbering, carrying chair] There is
something amiss with my twin brother Bartholomew. Come and look
through the keyhole.
[MORSTAN exits. SHOLTO places chair DC then sits. HOLMES and WATSON
are either side of SHOLTO and bend facing one another as if looking
through a keyhole. Suddenly bright light (the overhead spot from the
opening) shines on SHOLTO who is now his twin brother BARTHOLOMEW
and HOLMES and WATSON recoil in horror as SHOLTO is revealed with
a horrible, fixed smile, head sunk upon his left shoulder]
WATSON Why it's ...
TRIO [Even the dead can speak] Bartholomew Sholto.
HOLMES Note his twisted limbs.
WATSON He's been dead for hours.
HOLMES [Emphatic] Twisted limbs. [SHOLTO twists. HOLMES indicates
imaginary note] And this note is important.
WATSON [Reading imaginary note] The sign of the four.
HOLMES [Pointing to SHOLTO'S ear] And here; a poisoned dart.
[Light killed on SHOLTO who comes alive and leaps up]
WATSON [Stunned] My God! He's alive.
HOLMES No, that's his twin brother, Thaddeus.
SHOLTO [Thaddeus again; hysterical] The treasure is gone, my brother
is dead and the police will blame me! [Exiting with chair, convulsing]
Oh, I know I'll go mad!
HOLMES [Exiting] I'll investigate the crime-scene Watson and you
WATSON Of course, Holmes. [Announcement a la BBC] It's time for the
FX Indian music begins.
[Lighting to one spot for WATSON who steps into the spot and
WATSON A wealthy rajah in India was robbed by three Sikhs and an
Englishman with a wooden leg [Indicating] Mister Jonathan Small.
SMALL [MORIARTY enters as SMALL sans red wig but with a wooden leg and
stands in new spot of light] Us four thieves was sent to jail but told
no-one about our stolen treasure.
WATSON The men in charge of the prison were Major Sholto and Captain
SMALL I told them about the treasure on condition they got me outa
jail. [Fade MUSIC]
WATSON But Sholto double-crossed them and took the treasure to England
where Morstan tracked him down, argued and died [Emotional] leaving my
dear, sweet Mary [Blubbers] an or-phan.
SMALL [Catches the pathos. Distressed] Did, did, did you say an
WATSON [Crying, nodding] Yes, a beautiful, pearl-encrusted or-phan.
[The men blubber]
HUDSON [Calling roughly from offstage] Get on with it.
SMALL [Suddenly back as before] I escaped and years later came to
England where my little native friend Tonga [ADLER enters as midget
black native and mimes firing dart. Costuming may prove interesting
here] fired his blowpipe at Bartholomew Sholto.
FX Nautical music Drunken Sailor begins and continues through
WATSON [Crank up the speed] Small and Tonga grabbed the treasure,
[TONGA mimes grabbing treasure and lines up with SMALL who pretends to
steer their imaginary boat] jumped aboard a fast boat and raced down
the Thames to freedom.
[Lights change to eerie light and we are now on the Thames. SMALL and
TONGA are on one boat and HOLMES and WATSON are about to board
HOLMES [Enters wearing sea-captain's cap. WATSON leaps aboard] Come
Watson, chase them, full speed ahead. [HOLMES and SMALL steer their
SMALL [Calling as he steers his boat] We're too fast, Mr Holmes.
You'll never catch us!
HOLMES [Calling and steering] Heap it on stokers. Burn the boat if you
SMALL Shoot them, Tonga! Use your blowpipe! [TONGA prepares to fire
WATSON Look! The native has a poisoned dart.
HOLMES Fire if he raises his blowpipe! [TONGA takes aim]
WATSON [Aims imaginary pistol] Bang! [TONGA screams, falls overboard
SMALL You'll never take me alive. I'll run aground. [FADE MUSIC]
[SMALL hops off boat but his wooden leg sticks in the mud. He is
furiously hopping in a circle]
HOLMES His wooden leg is stuck in the mud. Quickly Watson, save the
[WATSON leaps onto other imaginary boat and searches]
HUDSON [Enters in rush] Save the show more like. It's time for the
WATSON It's gone! [HUDSON exits in frustration]
SMALL You're too late, Mister Holmes. The jewels are on the bottom
of the Thames.
[Hysterical laugh from SMALL who exits. Major lighting change. Light
centre where HOLMES is joined by WATSON. Peaceful]
FX Violin music for 221B
WATSON Well Holmes, not only did we lose the treasure, I fear you've
lost your partner.
HOLMES [Upset] Watson, no, I am nothing without my Boswell.
WATSON Three's a crowd, old man and Miss Morstan and I are soon to
HOLMES Then good luck, Doctor. But I should never marry lest I bias my
WATSON Life seems unfair, Holmes. The police get the credit, I get the
girl and ...
HOLMES [Rolling up his sleeve] I get the cocaine.
[BLACKOUT. MUSIC continues. WATSON exits. HOLMES moves to study]
HUDSON [Enters 221B and lights come up there. Annoyed] Mr Holmes?
[Louder] Mr Holmes?
HOLMES [Peeved wanders into light in 221B] What is it now, Mrs Hudson?
HUDSON Dr Watson is married and your next case is A Scandal in
Bohemia. [WATSON enters. HUDSON indicates HOLMES] Tell him he needs
the love of a good woman.
[Exits. MUSIC FADES]
WATSON [Briefly confused at HUDSON'S advice] I was passing, Holmes
and saw your light.
HOLMES [Greeting his long-lost chum] Watson, I say, wedlock suits
WATSON Thank you, old chap, but have you a new case?
HOLMES Indeed I do and it involves the aristocracy [Indicates door]
KRAMM [MORIARTY as Bohemian nobleman wearing a mask. He is 30, solid,
tall and beautifully dressed enters. German accent] Gentlemen, I have
ein terrible German accent und meine Name ist Count Von Kramm.
HOLMES I know who you are ... [Slight bow] your Majesty.
WATSON [Shocked] The King!
KRAMM [Removes mask] Ja, I am za Kink [sic] und soon to marry but I
fear za former lover.
HOLMES A beautiful woman threatens to tell all. [WATSON fumbles for
KRAMM Za stunning Irene Adler is ein [h]opera-singer here in London.
She vill ein photograph send of za two of us to my new fiancée, a
WATSON [Is lost] What came after "terrible German accent"?
HOLMES And you have searched Miss Adler's house?
KRAMM High und low but za photograph ist nowhere found to be. Bitte,
Herr Holmes; find zat photograph. [KRAMM and HOLMES exchange bows.
HOLMES [HOLMES beckons to WATSON who moves closer] Watson, here is the
plan. [HOLMES whispers in WATSON'S ear]
WATSON [Surprised and not a whisper] A smoke-bomb?
HOLMES Shhh, the audience may be listening. [Lights up as ADLER
enters] Look, there is the beautiful Miss Adler. Quick, Watson, strike
WATSON Righto. [WATSON mimes punching HOLMES in face] Biff!
[HOLMES staggers and half-collapses and ADLER moves to him]
ADLER [Distressed] Oh sir, you are hurt. Please, come into my house.
[HOLMES follows ADLER "inside" then waves to WATSON]
HOLMES [Unsubtle whisper] Now Watson!
WATSON [Aside to audience] That's my cue for the imaginary
[WATSON mimes tossing smoke-bomb]
HOLMES [Hopping about, pointing, calling] Fire! Fire! [Continues]
ADLER [Panics then aside to audience] Oh I must save the photograph of
the King and I.
[ADLER mimes finding photo and exits. WATSON joins HOLMES]
WATSON [Gushing] Holmes, what a stroke of genius.
HOLMES When a woman thinks her house is on fire, her instinct is to
save the thing she values most.
HUDSON [Enters] Gentlemen, enough chit-chat. We're up to case number
four, The Red Headed League which begins when Mr Jabez Wilson comes to
Baker Street. [Pause. Points] It's over there [here].
[HOLMES and WATSON move to study. HUDSON exits. Lights concentrate on
221B. WILSON played by MORIARTY enters and greets the detectives.
WILSON is stout, elderly, pompous, slow and florid-faced with red
HOLMES Ah, Mr Wilson. Tell us your fascinating story.
WILSON I answered a job advertisement for red-headed men. I was paid
four pounds a week to copy the Encyclopedia Britannica. I worked
between 10 and 2 every day and my assistant looked after my shop.
WATSON What a fine fellow.
WILSON But now the Red-Headed League is no more.
HOLMES An intriguing case, sir. [Stands] Please allow us to
WILSON [Taken aback] But I've hardly given you any information.
WATSON It's our housekeeper; she wants us to get a move on.
WILSON Oh, right you are. Well, good-day, gentlemen. [Exits]
HOLMES Now Watson, let us journey to the scene of the crime. [Men move
C to darkness]
[ADLER as maid and HUDSON as herself enter]
HUDSON [Sitting. Weary] Come and take the weight off, Missy.
ADLER [As maid, sitting] Ooo Mrs 'udson, do you fink we should?
HUDSON Dr Watson took his army revolver so they'll be gone for
ADLER [Shocked] 'is revolver! Should we call the police?
HUDSON Shhh. [Whispers] We're upstaging the other actors.
[Lights dim on women but come up a little where HOLMES, WATSON and
MERRYWEATHER a bank official played by MORIARTY creep into
position. The women turn and observe. The men whisper]
HOLMES Are we inside the bank vault, Mr Merryweather?
M'WTHER We are Mr Holmes and it's packed with gold bullion.
WATSON And this bank is located beside the shop owned by Jabez
HOLMES Excellent scene-stting, Watson; now, let us wait quietly in the
HUDSON [Pause. Suddenly remembers. Stressed] Oh my lord!
ADLER [Worried] Mrs 'udson. Wot's the matter?
HUDSON We're playing the bank robbers.
[Women noisily scurry towards the men. Kill lights on fireplace]
HOLMES [Still whispering] Have your revolver ready, Watson.
[HUDSON slowly appears behind WATSON]
WATSON Righto. [Nervous] I say, Holmes ... [MUSIC BEGINS]
HOLMES What now?
Song Number 3 There's Someone Here
WATSON I think there's someone's here
WOMEN They think there's someone here
QUINTET We think there's someone here.
HOLMES That'll be Mrs Hudson and the maid playing the bank robbers.
[Scream from robbers as HOLMES leaps up and overpowers HUDSON]
It's no use, John Clay. Give up! [Scuffle as robbers are caught]
HUDSON [As criminal] Orright, guv'nor. It's a fair cop.
M'WTHER The police will take them now. This way.
[Women and MERRYWEATHER exit. HOLMES and WATSON stand C as lights come
FX Solo violin music begins
WATSON Simply amazing Holmes. How ever did you solve that mystery?
HOLMES It was Wilson's assistant. He was very keen for his employer
to attend the phony Red-Headed League.
WATSON Yes but why?
HOLMES Once alone, the shop assistant could tunnel into the bank next
WATSON But how did you know the assistant was digging?
HOLMES Scruffy knees, Watson. One should always look at trousers.
WATSON You astound me, Holmes. Your powers of deduction are simply
HUDSON [Enters in a flap] Gentlemen, it's time for number five A
Case of Identity. [HUDSON weary - throwaway] As if anyone cares.
[Starts to exit; stops when HOLMES calls]
HOLMES Mrs Hudson, do I detect a wearisome tone in your voice?
HUDSON [Thinly veiled sarcasm] Oh very observant, Mr Holmes. Perhaps
it's due to me getting all the crappy jobs.
WATSON [Mild rebuke] Language, Mrs Hudson.
HUDSON [Complaining] Answer the door, tidy your mess, fetch the supper
I'm even doing the bloody play introductions - and there's
you, smoking revolting tobacco, snorting coke and entertaining every
weirdo in London.
HOLMES [To WATSON. Intimate] You haven't made mention of her
'strange behaviour' in your writings?
WATSON [Intimate] Wouldn't dream of it, old man.
HOLMES Good show. [To HUDSON. Normal] Right you are, Mrs H. Send in
the next weirdo.
HUDSON [Still not pleased] Miss Mary Sutherland. [HUDSON exits. LIGHT
221B, men cross]
S'LAND [ADLER enters as another Mary this time SUTHERLAND -
young spinster, large woman, wearing heavy fur boa, wide brimmed-hat
with large red feather, hat tilted, gloves, wearing odd boots. She is
shown to a chair] Gentlemen, I have lost my fiancé.
WATSON That's remarkable. We had another Mary before only she'd
lost her father.
HOLMES The facts, Miss Sutherland.
S'LAND I live with my mother and stepfather who is almost my age. I
became engaged to Mr. Hosmer Angel but on the day of our marriage, my
HOLMES Tell me about your young man.
S'LAND He is shy and prefers to walk in the evening. He has swollen
glands, speaks in a whisper and wears tinted glasses.
HOLMES And what do your parents think of your fiancé?
S'LAND Mother is all in favour and told me not to worry about my
WATSON But what happened on your wedding day?
S'LAND Mother and I travelled in the first cab with Hosmer in the
second. At the church we discovered the second cab was empty and
I've never seen my beloved since.
HOLMES Miss Sutherland, you have been shamefully treated.
S'LAND [Emotional] Oh Mr Holmes, you are very kind. [Stands]
Goodbye. [She exits]
HOLMES I shall write to the step-father. [Hears sound] That was quick.
He's here already.
[WINDIBANKS played by MORIARTY enters. He is 30, sturdy, clean-shaven,
with a bland insinuating manner]
W'BANKS Forgive my step-daughter. I don't like our dirty linen
being washed in public. Besides, you'll never find Hosmer Angel.
HOLMES But I have already.
W'BANKS [Shouting] What! Where?
HOLMES Oh it won't do, Hosmer, really it won't.
WATSON [Has no idea] Who's Hosmer?
W'BANKS [Collapses in chair. The game is up. Groans] It all began as
WATSON What joke?
HOLMES You pretended to be your step-daughter's suitor.
WATSON [Stunned] I say!
W'BANKS [Recovering] I have done nothing illegal and if you keep me
here, you lay yourself open to an action for assault and illegal
HOLMES [Stepping aside] I ought to lay a whip across your shoulders.
By Jove! [Moving to fireplace] And here's a hunting-crop to do just
[WINDIBANKS flees in fear and bumps into HUDSON about to enter]
HUDSON [Offstage] Oi! [Enters wearing an Australian hat with dangling
corks] You have some very strange visitors, Mr Holmes. [And she's
one of them]
HOLMES [Referring to HUDSON] Strange indeed, Mrs Hudson. [To WATSON]
Come Watson, what is different about our house-keeper?
WATSON [Can't see the bleeding obvious] Ah, she's ... not wearing
gloves. No, she ... she has a new apron!
HUDSON [Collecting HOLMES] Come Mr Holmes. We'll leave Dr Watson to
chat with his new wife while we get on with the next case.
[HUDSON and HOLMES exit across stage into the darkness both calling
as they go]
HUDSON &HOLMES Coo-ee. Coo-ee.
HUDSON [Just before she exits] The Boscombe Valley Mystery.
[She and HOLMES exit. We're in the home of Doctor Watson. He is
seated reading the paper. ADLER, as the new Mrs Watson, enters wearing
an apron and attends to her husband]
MRS W Well John, this makes a nice change.
WATSON [Half reading] I'm sorry my dear?
MRS W Most of your cases begin at Baker Street with you and Mr Holmes
having a chat.
WATSON How observant you are and how nice to enjoy breakfast with my
MRS W So is Mr Holmes working on a new case?
WATSON I'm sure he ... [Looking across stage as lights come up] Good
heavens, there he is.
HOLMES [Enters, waving, calls] Watson, hello!
WATSON [Standing, calling] Holmes, you seem far away.
[MRS WATSON helps hubby prepare for a trip]
HOLMES I'm in the west country. Have you a couple of days to spare?
MRS W I think the change would do you good, my dear.
WATSON [Standing] Then off to the west country I'll go.
[WATSON kisses wife who exits. Lighting concentrates on HOLMES. WATSON
crosses to him]
HOLMES It's murder, Watson. The victim was Charles McCarthy who made
his money in Australia. [Calling to wings] Could we have the body
please? [To WATSON] Chair, Watson. [WATSON fetches chair]
HUDSON [Enters wearing bush hat with corks and is not a happy camper]
You really are pushing your luck, Mr Holmes. [Pause] Well, where do
you want me?
HOLMES [Indicates] Just there. [HUDSON sits]
WATSON [To HUDSON believing 'him' to be McCarthy] I hope you're