MISS HOLMES presented Cincinnati Shakespeare Company through Aug. 4. I attended the opening night performance.
The premise for MISS HOLMES is simple: What if mastermind detective Sherlock Holmes and his trusted ally Dr. Watson were both women? The script by Christopher M. Walsh smartly handles the duo’s first adventure together, maneuvering the two through an engaging mystery while confronting the obstacles presented by the expected norms of womanly behavior in late 19th century England.
Guest director Jemma Alix Levy finds a great balance in keeping the characters true to their literary roots while acknowledging and challenging the social prejudices of the period (and sadly still today).
As Miss Sherlock Holmes, Kelly Mengelkoch balances the “arrogance” of the smartest person in the room with a self-aware vulnerability, recognizing the personal isolation caused by her intellectual pursuits. Equally engaging is Sara Clark as Dr. Dorothy Watson who follows Holmes down the mystery rabbit hole with equal parts awe and trepidation. Together, the two are a formidable and entertaining team to watch as their respect and admiration for each other grows over the course of the play. They are supported by the work of the strong ensemble, several of whom deftly handle multiple roles.
Overall, a very satisfying adventure and I for one would love to see the continuation of their adventure if the opportunity should present itself.
My rating: 4.75 out of 5.
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