Ovo Presents First Co-Production with Pitlochry Festival Theatre; SHERLOCK HOLMES: A STUDY IN LIPSTICK, KETCHUP AND BLOOD

Directed by Marc Small. Playing at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival, June 13th – June 18th.

By: Jun. 01, 2023
Ovo Presents First Co-Production with Pitlochry Festival Theatre; SHERLOCK HOLMES: A STUDY IN LIPSTICK, KETCHUP AND BLOOD

Ovo Presents First Co-Production with Pitlochry Festival Theatre; SHERLOCK HOLMES: A STUDY IN LIPSTICK, KETCHUP AND BLOOD

OVO has announced its first co-production with Pitlochry Festival Theatre: SHERLOCK HOLMES: A STUDY IN LIPSTICK, KETCHUP and BLOOD playing at the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival.

An adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle novel 'A Study in Scarlet' by Lesley Hart
June 13th – June 18th at 7.30pm (and 2.30pm on June 17th). Directed by Marc Small.

Says Adam Nichols, Artistic Director of the Roman Theatre Open Air Festival: “We're absolutely delighted to present our first co-production with the Pitlochry Festival Theatre and their clever, two-hander production of 'Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Lipstick, Ketchup, and Blood' by Lesley Hart.  I think it'll work brilliantly in the Roman Theatre and, as the sun goes down each evening, it'll add to the legendary, puzzle-solving brilliance of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's world-famous creation.  I saw – and loved - the play at Pitlochry last year and I'm thrilled that Pitlochry's Artistic Director, Elizabeth Newman, has agreed to bring the production to us in St Albans.”

Adds Pitlochry Festival Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman:  “We are thrilled to be working with OVO.  It's a theatre company that we've long admired; the work of Adam and the team is exceptional and it's great to be a small part of it this summer.  We look forward to growing our connection and relationship with such an impactful and inspirational organisation.”

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes adventure, 'A Study In Scarlet', was written in 1887 and comes to life once again in Lesley Hart's theatrical adaptation…
Brief synopsis:  in a blasted world, two survivors – a doctor and an actor pass the time by staging their favourite story salvaged from the flames: A Study in Scarlet.  But when tensions arise around casting, more than dead bodies start to surface…Co-produced by OVO and Pitlochry Festival Theatre, the play features Deidre Davis (Eileen Donachie in River City, BBC Scotland, and the films Orphans and Get Duked) who will be reprising her role as Harry from last year's Pitlochry production, and Ben Stock (Cinderella, New Victoria Theatre) as Ash (photo left).

The production is directed by Marc Small who says:  “Directing the inimitable Deirdre Davis is always a joy and a surprise – she is such a wonderful, generous actor.  Lesley Hart provides a funny and poignant script that interweaves the characters' reality with a murder mystery and I think the Roman Theatre serves as the perfect backdrop to the unfolding drama.”

Lesley Hart is an actor and award-winning playwright and a familiar face on TV as Lou Caplan in BBC Scotland's River City. She says:  “Sherlock Holmes stories are classic puzzles which are solved logically and that's one of the many things I love about them.  In adapting A Study in Scarlet, which introduces two of the most iconic characters in literature, Holmes and Watson, I wanted to reimagine it for a purely theatrical space, outdoors, unplugged, with only two actors.

“I've focused on the forging of Holmes and Watson's partnership via their first joint murder investigation and injected lots of drama and theatricality into it.  I've framed the story within a different context: a future time or alternative 'now' where the earth is uninhabitable, civilisation has collapsed, and two survivors are putting on their stage version of A Study in Scarlet every day to cling to a sense of nostalgia, sanity and order amid the chaos of their changed lives.  On every level, this adaptation is a story of partnership, co-dependency, and the science and art of survival.

“The Roman Theatre is a gorgeous and wondrous space, in an incredibly beautiful outdoor setting – its ancient design feels timeless and universal.  Telling stories out of doors and in the elements feels different from being indoors.”

The Roman Theatre offers a comfortable and welcoming environment for all audiences.  A new hilltop bar offers competitively priced drinks and snacks and plentiful seating affords glorious views over the theatre site and the Ver Valley.


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