Director: Geoff Brittain
Playwright: Ken Ludwig
The Play: The play is a humorous adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s 1902 novel The Hound of the Baskervilles featuring over forty characters. It is set in London and Devonshire in the late 1890s.
Roles: Adaptability and physicality a key to these roles.
1 Female – plays 14 characters. Stage age 25-35
Mrs Hudson: Is a warm, good-spirited housekeeper at 221B Baker Street.
Oh Doctor Watson, look at this cane. That man last night left it here by accident when you and Mr Holmes were out at the opera. Oh it’s so romantic leaving a stick like this by the fireside.
Have you seen the cane yet, Mr Holmes? I wonder who left it?
Cartwright: A street urchin.
I’m right ‘ere, sir. ‘Allo, Mr. ‘Olmes. Doctor. The Irregulars, they’re doin’ all right with the odd job now and then. O’ course they wouldn’t mind a little extra work on their plates if it came a-callin’ in the scheme o’ things.
Mrs Barrymore: Is the housekeeper at Baskerville Hall and wife to the butler. Originally from Sweden and retains a strong accent.
You and Doctor Vatson haff been wery kind to us und ve thought ve should tell you: ve do know something inwolwing the wiolent death of Sir Charles. I do not think again of it for veeks and veeks, but then, vhen I vas cleaning out Sir Charle’s study, I found der ashes of a burned letter at der back of der grate. Most of it vas charred to pieces, but vone piece at der end of der letter vas hanging together like little precious paper babies holding hands and I could read der writings. It said “Please, please, as you are a gentleman, burn this letter, and be at the gate by ten o’clock. I feel so wulnerable. L L.”
Mrs Clayton: A Cab-Woman – tough as old shoe leather.
Oy there! ‘Scuse me. Are you the owners o’ the ‘ouse at 221B Baker Street? I understand you wanted some words with the driver of Cab Number 2704, now what d’you got against me? Well I’m havin’ a good day, aren’t I? How can I ‘elp ya?
This gentleman ‘ailed me at ‘alf past noyne this mornin’ at Trafalgar Square and offered me two guineas if I would do as ‘e wanted. First we drove to the Northumberland and waited there till two gents come out, and we followed ‘em till they stopped at your place. They come out o’ there and we followed ‘em again, only this time my gentleman sees you on the street and ‘e throws up the trap and cries “Oy! You! Drive as ‘ard as you can to Waterloo Station! And I got ‘im there in ten minutes and away ‘e went.
1 Male – plays 14 characters. Stage age 30-40
Sir Henry Baskerville: Is a handsome young American from Texas. He is the heir to the Baskerville fortune and has come to England to claim his inheritance.
Galdarnit! I’ll tell you what the matter is! They’re playin’ me for a sucker in this hotel! And if they don’t find my boot, there’s gonna be trouble! It’s not just a boot – it’s my favourite pair! And they lost just one of ‘em! Now does that make any sense in the world?! Hey You! She’s the maid. I talked to her earlier. Miss, have you found my boot yet?! Now tell me the truth, ‘cause if you were in on it -! Either that boot comes back before sundown or I’ll talk to your manager! I’m sorry, Mr Holmes. It just gets in my craw when somebody tries to play me for a sucker. I know it ain’t important in the scheme o’ things….
Inspector Lestrade: Is an officer at Scotland Yard, given to crude speech.
Well knock me senseless, it’s Mr Sherlock ‘Olmes. What the ‘ell are you doin’ here? ‘Ello, Doctor.
They’re wastin’ me bleedin’ time with some piss-pot baloney about some baronet. If you ask me it’s a lot o’ bollocks for some toff from America who’s goin’ to inherit a fortune anyhow.
I got a more important case in ‘Ounslow involvin’ some bleedin’ bastard and his naked mistress.
Wilson: An employee at the district messenger office.
Mr. Holmes! Oh my goodness! What a pleasure to see you so LUCY! IT’S MR HOLMES AND DOCTOR WATSON! I’m afraid she’s going a bit deaf like her mother, who couldn’t hear a freight train if it was runnin’ her down but LUCY!
Now what can I do for you gentlemen?
1 Male – plays 7 characters. Stage age 25-35
Dr Mortimer: A young doctor.
I am here because of the sudden death three weeks ago of my friend and patient Sir Charles Baskerville at the very same estate in Devon. The verdict at the inquest was death by natural causes. But I got there before the police came, and at the inquest I was reluctant to reveal certain… observations I made at the time for fear of endorsing local superstitions.
The day had been wet and the footprints of Sir Charles reveal he was walking behind the house to the gate, where he seems to have waited. He then continued, but his footprints changed – he appears to have walked on tiptoe from that point on, moving away from the house to the spot where he fell. I then examined the body, which had not been touched. Sir Charles lay face down, his arms out, his fingers dug into the ground, and when I turned him over, his features were convulsed with such strong emotion that I could hardly have sworn his identity. There was certainly no physical injury of any kind, and while there was no disturbance near the body, there were marks on the ground several yards away.
Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound.
Stapleton: A resident of the Devonshire moor region.
It is extraordinary how gullible the locals are about it. Some of them swear that they’ve actually seen the creature! I have no doubt the story led to Sir Charles’s death. I saw Sir Charles earlier that day and his nerves were so worked up that the sight of any dog would have caused the heart attack. That’s my view, but of course the question is what does Sherlock Holmes think.
It’s useless to pretend we don’t know you are the Doctor Watson. Ha! Even down here we read your recollections. And if you’re here, it follows that Mr Holmes must be interested in the matter. Am I right? Hmm? When is he coming?
Victor: Brute of a man, huge and muscular – filthy from living on the moors.
Noooo! Leave me alone! It iss not your business! I vill have my wengence! Go away! Go away!
Milker: A street urchin.
The name’s Milker, sir. I work with Cartwright when there’s a shilling or two in circulation. If ya see what I mean. So what d’ya think?
May I say what a pleasure it is entering your employment, Mr Holmes, and now like a runaway ‘orse or a speeding train, or a spotted leopard, or a genie in a bottle, or a phantom, or a ghost, or a bullet or a sound. We’re off!
Performance Dates: April 2024
Venue: Adelaide Repertory Theatre, Arts Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide.
Rehearsals: Dates to be advised. Tuesdays and Thursdays 7.00-10.00pm and Sundays 2.00-5.00pm
Rehearsal Venue: Rep rehearsal room.
Auditions: by appointment on Saturday 15th April 2023. Email Ray at email@example.com