Theatre review: Sherlock Holmes - The Valley of Fear at Blackpool Grand on Nov 02, 2022

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Timeless mystery, Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear has been brought to the stage and is in the resort until this Saturday (Nov 05).

The play sees the methodical super-sleuth and loyal sidekick, Dr Watson (Joseph Derrington), head to the States to solve a murder.

Blackeyed Theatre, in association with South Hill Park Arts Centre, have adapted the fourth and final Sherlock Holmes novel, originally published in 1915.

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Sherlock, played by Luke Barton, receives a cryptic letter that leads to Vermissa Valley in Pennsylvania – a place full of gun-toting crooks, bent councillors and a secret society.

Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of FearSherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear
Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear

The cast of five take on 20 roles between them – impressively switching from British to American accents between scenes. The characterisation is brilliant, with intense dialogue, believable acting and atmospheric folk songs.

It’s a thought-provoking play that is steeped with tension and drama, and there’s plenty of puzzles and clues to keep the viewer in suspense.

And there’s some gentle humour, and clever fight choreography – most notably a laugh out loud moment when Sherlock dives on the floor to recreate a possible murder.

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There’s two sets – one is the cosy 221b Baker Street apartment, the other a ramshackle saloon that makes clever use of light to create depth and distance between the backdrops.

It’s a show that needs your full attention as it’s very dialogue-driven. The plot sometimes feels a bit disjointed but it comes together at the end and I enjoyed seeing these familiar characters on the stage.

Sherlock Holmes: The Valley Of Fear is at Blackpool Grand until Saturday Nov 05, 2022. Book tickets at or call 01253 290190.

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