Sherlock Holmes return in The Sign of Four by Fareham Musical Society at The Ashcroft Arts Centre
Following their award-winning production of The Hound of the Baskervilles last year, Fareham Musical Society are back with a brand-new adaptation of another classic Sherlock Holmes mystery.
When the beautiful Miss Mary Morstan arrives at 221B Baker Street and enlists Sherlock Holmes, and the ever-faithful Doctor John Watson, to help her solve the mystery of her father's disappearance, it sets in motion a chain of events that involves hidden treasure, dark secrets and foul murder...
As Holmes begins to unravel this tangled web of intrigue, and as Watson begins to fall in love with the noble Mary Morstan, action and adventure abound – all coming to a head with a thrilling chase across the heart of fog-bound London.
‘We had a bit of a hit with ‘Hound’ last year,’ says adaptor and director Nick Scovell, ‘so we naturally wanted to follow it up and The Sign of Four was the natural choice.
‘It’s a truly irresistible tale of lost treasure, betrayal, murder and revenge! It is, in many ways, the archetypal Sherlock Holmes adventure. It set the blueprint for the recognisable essence of those classic stories.’
The play is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel, first published in 1890.
The second of the Holmes novels, it was written while Conan Doyle was still resident in Southsea, where he worked as a doctor.
In adapting the story for the stage, Scovell was determine to do justice to the novel.
‘The book has been adapted many times for stage and screen, but very few of these have stuck to the storyline and narrative of the original – I really wanted to be faithful to the novel because there is no need to tamper with it.
‘It really is a cracking read and a cracking story! So, purists and novices should be equally happy coming to see our version!’
This is also the story in which Doctor Watson meets his wife – and we discover Sherlock Holmes’ dark secret of his use of drugs.
‘At the start we have Watson confronting Holmes about taking cocaine. It’s a real character moment.
‘I didn’t want to shy away from it in the play – and it’s just one of many great moments that have become part of Sherlock Holmes’ lore.’
With a story that features some brilliant moments of detection, as well as moments of comedy and romance, the FMS team promise The Sign of Four will be a memorable slice of gothic intrigue.
It also marks the company’s first performance at The Ashcroft Arts Centre while their traditional home of Ferneham Hall undergoes a multi-million pound revamp.
THE SIGN OF FOUR
Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham