“Sherlock Holmes: the Sign of Four” Play Review

Peyton Rabb, Staff Writer

This past Sunday afternoon, I had the opportunity to witness the last showing of Sherlock Holmes: the Sign of Four, produced at the PAC. Filled with plot twists, mysterious creatures, and beautiful British accents, it was almost okay that the play was long enough to have two intermissions.

With limited props and supplies, the cast and crew made do with what they had and beautifully portrayed the scene. When the audience first entered the theater, the very first sight you saw was the large magnifying glass background that brought the scene to life. Furthermore, the prop was interactive throughout the show, displaying the setting, intermission, and important information to the audience. Smaller props sometimes made all the difference, such as when Dr. Watson, played by Central Hardin biology teacher Jared Eaton, pulls out an antique pocket watch. The little things were what pulled the audience into the story.

Although props were not as prevalent, the costumes were beyond expectation. From the unique investigator jackets to the hat and sideburns disguise that sure enough fooled me, I was amazed at the sight. After staying after the show, the audience was allowed to ask the cast and crew questions about the play. One woman asked how some of the cast members were able to change costumes so quickly. Moira Taylor, who played Mrs. Hudson, Aurora Smith, Achmet the merchant, and Mrs, Bernstone, replied that the costume she wore for Mrs. Hudson, which was a multilayer dress/apron outfit, was only one piece. Costume manager Allison Eckel was able to alter the dress so that it could be put on in only a few seconds.

Another positive of the show was the obvious diversity to the group. Different genders, races and ages participated in the show and were casted accordling, aside from one instance where Achmet the merchant, a man, was played by Taylor. From old Mrs. Bernstone to troublesome little Jack, roles were accurately cast in this way.

In addition, the play was well cast. Aaron Taylor did a fantastic job as Jonathon Small, especially playing the role of having a peg leg for the entire two hours. Harper Aaron was very enthusiastic, embracing her role as a troublesome little boy, but when speaking to the audience after the play, proved to be a mature young adult.

The play in and of itself was a little hard to follow, but so is every Sherlock Holmes investigation. Overall, the plot was understandable, but some of the details were lost in the length and minimal props of the play. 

I wouldn’t call myself completely qualified to give this play an official review, but plays are something I have grown up seeing. I have always loved plays and the entertainment industry in general. The difference between a movie and a play is the raw, talented work of the production. Especially in a local play like this one, I knew a few of the actors/actresses that performed, which really made it unique. Knowing the way someone is off the stage and then seeing them act as a different person makes me value the play even more. The arts is something everyone should pursue at least once in their life in case performing and bringing entertainment to people is something that interests them.