Sherlock Holmes in Pattaya – Pattaya Mail

(lr) Daniel Foley (Dr Watson); Nigel Miles Thomas (Holmes)

As any Sherlock Holmes enthusiast knows, Holmes and Dr. Watson rooms at 221b Baker Street, one of the residential areas of London in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s time. Recently the apartment sitting room and the two famous residents were recreated at Ben’s Theater in Jomtien for the stage production, The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

In Doyle’s time, Baker Street house numbers only went up to 85. When it was merged with another street in the 1930s, the odd numbers from 215 to 229 were assigned to a building that was home to the Abbey Road Building Society . Almost immediately, the company began receiving numerous letters addressed to Mr. Sherlock Holmes. They eventually appointed a full-time secretary to deal with them.

The Return of Sherlock Holmes was Arthur Conan Doyle’s fourth collection of short stories and published in 1905. Doyle began writing about the detective and his sidekick in the 1880s; a total of fifty-six short stories and four complete novels. The first, A study in Scarlet was published in The Beach Magazine in 1887. Doyle was then twenty-seven and a qualified physician. Later stories appeared in serial form, a common practice at the time. They were later reissued as complete books. Although Doyle was one of the highest paid authors of his day, he eventually grew bored with Holmes and wanted to focus on other things, especially historical fiction. Despite his mother’s dismay, Doyle decided to kill Holmes in a story titled: The last problempublished in The Beach Magazine in 1893.

There was a public outcry. Many readers angrily canceled their subscription The Beach Magazine and it was said that some young men in London wore black bracelets. The ensuing furor forced Doyle to bring Sherlock Holmes back to life, but not after an absence of several years. Holmes appeared in 1903 in a short story called The Adventure of the Empty Houserepublished two years later in The Return of Sherlock Holmes.

The stage production The Return of Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant two man show recently presented at Ben’s Theatre, Jomtien. With a script by Owen Thomas, it’s loosely based on The Adventure of the Empty House. The story is set in 1894, three years after the apparent death of Sherlock Holmes. The story centers on a seemingly unsolvable murder in London: the murder of the esteemed Ronald Adair, part-time gambler and son of the Earl of Maynooth.

In the stage production, Dr. Watson the untimely death of his friend Holmes, but later we see Holmes disguised as an eccentric bearded bookseller who Dr. Watson literally bumps into on the street. Later, in their rooms on Baker Street, Holmes reveals his true identity. He explains to Dr. Watson explained that reports of his death at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland with his nemesis Professor Moriarty were false. Only Moriarty had fallen to his death while Holmes had managed to escape. dr. Watson understandably receives this revelation with mixed feelings.

Nigel Miles-Thomas played a compelling Holmes and reminded me of Sir Basil Rathbone, the eminent English actor with the impeccable accent who played Sherlock Holmes in fourteen Hollywood films made between 1939 and 1946. Nigel starred in over a hundred productions worldwide and appeared. in popular British TV shows, including: Dr Who, Grange Hill, The professionalsand The Dick Emery Show. As Holmes, Nigel dominated the stage and played with a real sense of involvement. Daniel Foley gave a thoughtful and affectionate appearance from the long-suffering Dr. Watson, who in the stories was a successful doctor, though not quite in Holmes’s intellectual class. Daniel, who also has a string of theater and television appearances behind him, played the character with great sympathy and understanding. The ensemble work provided compelling and entertaining theater that delighted the audience.

As I watched in fascination, I began to wonder why Arthur Conan Doyle decided to give his hero the unusual name Sherlock. The name Holmes was a quintessentially English surname and was especially associated with London and the literary world. But Sherlock? According to the American writer Michael Sims, Doyle played with different names for his detective. Originally, Doyle was going to call him Sherrington Hope. That mutated into Sherrinford Hope and then into Sherrinford Holmes before finally becoming Sherlock Holmes. It is possible that Sims claims that the name Sherlock was inspired by the real life Superintendent William Sherlock of London’s Metropolitan Police, who was often mentioned in crime reports in newspapers. Doyle made no secret of the fact that the detective’s personal character was partly modeled on Doyle’s former assistant professor, Dr. Joseph Bell.

dr. Watson was originally going to be called Ormond Sacker. Perhaps it sounded a bit imaginative, as later on Doyle opted for the more mundane Watson, possibly inspired by Dr. Patrick Watson in Edinburgh. Or maybe not. We may never know. dr. Watson is the ‘writer’ of almost all Holmes stories and we see them unfold through his eyes. This is recorded in the first title A study in Scarlet, subtitled “a reprint of the memories of John H. Watson, MD, deceased from the Army Medical Department.” Towards the end of the story, Watson tells Holmes, “Your merits must be publicly acknowledged. You must publish a report of the case. If you don’t do it, I’ll do it for you.” And of course he does.

Nigel Miles-Thomas and Daniel Foley have already presented this fascinating show in many countries. They have had enough time to get comfortable with the roles and it was a pleasure to see such professional and confident work on stage at Ben’s Theater. Their years of stage and television work was evident in their compelling stage presence and sensitive portrayal of the two characters Sir Arthur Conan Doyle so carefully crafted. It was a wonderful evening, especially for fans of The Great Detective.

Footnote:

While I was finishing this article, I came across a short uncredited story that the worldly knowledge of Dr. Watson illustrates…

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are on a camping trip. After a Outside dinner and a bottle of Bordeaux, they decide to retire for the night. Several hours later, Watson is awakened by a thrust in the arm of Holmes. “Watson, look up and tell me what you see.”

“I see millions and millions of bright stars, Holmes,” Watson replies in awe.

“And what do you infer from that?” asks Holmes. Watson thinks for a moment and replies: “Astronomically I deduce that there are millions of galaxies and possibly countless planets. In terms of meteorology, the clear sky indicates that there is a cloudless morning ahead. Astrologically I see that Saturn is in Leo and beyond. …”

“Yes, yes, Watson,” interrupts Holmes impatiently, “but you missed an important point.”

“And what is that?” asks Watson, bewildered.

“Watson,” Holmes says slowly, “someone stole our tent.”


Leave a Comment