Review: MISS HOLMES RETURNS at Greater Boston Stage Company is a Captivating Twist On One of Literature's Most Well Known Characters

This production runs now through May 8th.

Photos: See Shereen Pimentel, Omar Lopez-Cepero & More in All New Images of EVITA at A.R.T.

Sherlock Holmes is one of literature's most well-known characters. Through the years, many people have tried to adapt Holmes to different time periods and situations. But none that I have come across have done so as successfully as Christopher M. Walsh does in Miss Holmes RETURNS, now playing at the Greater Boston Stage Company through May 8th. Walsh not only gender-flips the characters of Holmes and Watson but includes the nuances of being women detectives in the late 1800s. In the play, he touches on themes of gender and race inequality, the foundational issues of the police, and sex work, amongst many other social issues.

While Miss Holmes RETURNS is a sequel, you don't need to have seen the original to understand the story. This was my introduction to Miss Holmes, and at no point was I confused. The play starts with the murder of Mr. Daniel Burke. We learn that a "foreign girl" was seen fleeing the scene of the crime. Holmes quickly comes to the conclusion that this murder was not in fact a murder, but an act of self-defense. It is thought that this killing is tied to other killings that have been taking place in London which they believe are tied to one man, simply known as The Professor. The play takes us on Holmes' and Waton's journey as they work to solve the case.

Walsh's script is truly captivating. I felt invested in the story from the moment the investigation begins. He does a wonderful job at keeping some of the well-known characteristics of Holmes and Watson but also adds his own twist to them. The characters he conceived for the play are just as fully fleshed out and each charter truly had thier own voice and personality.

Marge Dunn plays a fascinating Holmes. She does an excellent job at portraying Holmes' thick skin but shows her vulnerabilities through nuance. Dunn is joined by Shonna Cirone in the role of Dr. Dorothy Watson. Cirone's Watson is a kind soul who cares for Holmes and not only wants to help her succeed but wants to help the women around her. I do wish that Watson had more character development, but Cirone played the role incredibly well. The standout in the cast to me was Paul Melendy as Adam Worthington. He brings to the role an extreme level of charisma, forcing the audience to fall in love with him from the second we meet him. The rest of the cast all did amazing in their roles.

The costumes were designed by Deirdre McCabe Gerrard and really suited each of the characters. The set, designed by Katy Monthei, featured large doilies hung throughout the set and featured a lot of shelving center stage, taking up the entire width of the stage, was a large bookshelf-like fixture that also served as a platform. I felt that the play would have benefited from this platform being moved more upstage, as the play felt a bit crammed downstage.

Overall, this production is incredibly well done. If you enjoy comedies and murder mysteries or are even a huge fan of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle you will love Miss Holmes RETURNS.

Miss Holmes RETURNS plays now through May 8th at the Greater Boston Stage Company. It is directed by Weylin Symes and stage-managed by Shauwna Dieas Grillo. Tickets and more information can be found on the Greater Boston Stage Company's website.

Photo by Nile Scott Studios.


Cotuit Center for the Arts to Present THESE ARE THE BONUS YEARS This Month Photo
Cotuit Center for the Arts to Present THESE ARE THE BONUS YEARS This Month

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The Hanover Theatre To Present PENN & TELLER PRESENTS THE FOOLERS And More This Summer Photo
The Hanover Theatre To Present PENN & TELLER PRESENTS THE FOOLERS And More This Summer

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Disneys FROZEN On-Sale At Citizens Bank Opera House This Monday, June 5 Photo
Disney's FROZEN On-Sale At Citizens Bank Opera House This Monday, June 5

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