top of page

Review | Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear | Crewe Lyceum | 12/11/2022

Who hasn’t heard of British detective Sherlock Holmes? Not many.

Who however has never seen anything Sherlock Holmes related? That would be me!

I was however delighted to finally get the opportunity to finally discover the great detective himself at Crewe Lyceum, in ‘Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear.’ This play is an adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s final book in the Sherlock Holmes series. I was concerned with not knowing Holmes’s prior adventures, that this would be hard to follow, however this fear was quickly dispelled.

The acting was universally strong, with the cast holding the production together without any weak link in the company. Each actor/actress played multiple roles which was at no point confusing, testament to both their individual and collective strength. The changing dynamic between Holmes (Luke Barton) and Watson (Joseph Derrington) is played to perfection and is entirely believable throughout. Sprinklings of light comedy throughout helped draw the audience in to Holmes’s world.

Victoria Spearing’s staging was superb in parallel with Oliver Welsh’s moody lighting design, really setting the scene for this classic murder mystery. Although just a single set, the audience were never confused as to the intended location of any scene. However, the book/script did jump about fairly often. This was somewhat helped along with narration from Watson. Clever use of slamming props and furniture to the sound of music helped build a sinister atmosphere during various scene changes.

Although enjoyable throughout, the pacing in act two felt a little off at times and could have lost 10/15 minutes. This was always going to be a challenge when telling two stories in one: the story of the crime itself, alongside Holmes’s untangling of it. What the piece does succeed in is giving the audience just enough information throughout to keep you guessing and intrigued as to where things are heading, with plenty of twists and turns along the way.

With a traditionally British charm, ‘Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear’ can be enjoyed by both fans of the series but also those new to the Sherlock Holmes universe. It is currently midway through an extensive UK tour, currently booking until May 2023. See below for booking information for your closest venue.

Gifted: I was gifted my ticket for this show. All views are my own and 100% free from influence.


bottom of page