Christmas is a great time for London theatre breaks and celebrations. But what’s playing in the capital city over the festive period? Well, one of the shows that everyone’s talking about right now is A Sherlock Carol. This creative and inspired production is a seasonal masterpiece that’s sure to delight fans of both Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens. So let’s find out more about the story behind the show that has become The Times Critics’ Pick.
As you might have already guessed, the characters of A Sherlock Carol haven’t been invented from scratch. In fact, one of the world’s most famous fictional detectives, Sherlock Holmes, comes face to face with a cohort of the best figures from A Christmas Carol (hence the slightly unusual play name). It’s a Victorian mashup like you’ve never seen before and a production that’s quickly becoming a festive classic in its own right. If you’re looking for something other than a traditional Christmas pantomime this year, then A Sherlock Carol theatre adventure might be just what you need.
Three Christmases have passed since Sherlock Holmes’ famous stand-off with Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. The sleuth has little appetite for the festive period, let alone solving crimes. ‘Bah’ he likes to say, in a tone not so dissimilar to another miserly figure from the original Christmas Carol story. Wandering through Victorian London with his crime solving days firmly in the past (or so he believes) he meets Tiny Tim Cratchit. Except Tiny Tim isn’t small anymore, and has grown up to become Dr. Timothy Cratchit, a popular medic caring for the poor. Holmes is implored by Cratchit to investigate the possible murder of his benefactor, one Ebenezer Scrooge.
Like every good detective, Holmes can’t resist delving deeper into a seemingly impossible murder. Intrigued further by a threatening letter and a missing diamond, Holmes battles his own demons on a treacherous and dark Christmas Eve to find justice. Using his powers of deduction, can Holmes overcome his own ghosts to crack the case?
Reprising their roles from the 2022 production will be Ben Caplan as Holmes and Kammy Darweigh as Scrooge, alongside returning cast members Rosie Armstrong (The Countess and others) and Richard James (Dr Watson and others). New additions include Jessica Hern (Emma Wiggins and others), Devesh Kishore (Dr Cratchit and others), Hannah Parker (understudy) and Henry Proffit (alternate Sherlock Holmes and understudy). The associated director for the production is Alex Sumner Highes.
Written and directed by Mark Shanahan, A Sherlock Carol will play at the Marylebone Theatre until January 2024 – just a stone’s throw from Holmes’ fictional home of 221B Baker Street. Enjoy London theatre week and discover this masterful script in action.