MISS HOLMES Quick Review

MISS HOLMES presented Cincinnati Shakespeare Company through Aug. 4. I attended the opening night performance. 

CSC_Miss Holmes45

Kelly Mengelkoch is Miss Sherlock Holmes & Sara Clark as Dr. Watson. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

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.

CSC_Miss Holmes3

Geoffrey Warren Barnes as Edwin Greener & Sean Hagerty as Thomas Chapman. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

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.

CSC_Miss Holmes2

Miranda McGee as Mrs. Hudson & Maggie Lou Radar as Lizzie Chapman. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

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.

Click here for more information on the production.

1 Comment

Filed under Reviews

One response to “MISS HOLMES Quick Review

  1. pswallace

    I have not yet commented in the Cincy area, but about this production I saw two weeks ago: coming into it, I was expecting nothing more than a Sherlock Holmes story with a female lead. What I got was something better than that. Far better. Something original.

    What I got was somewhat reality–“what if Sherlock Holmes had been female?” Absolute reality. For troublesome young girls of that time were in fact “taken care of”, in a way we would think cruel today. And we would be right to so think. I will not wring my hands about the past–Rome was not built in a day (though it was burned in one.) The Western tradition is a story of becoming more than we are today, I will not condemn the past for being less than today anymore than I will condemn my five year old self for not being the fifty-year old. What I will say, though, is that I saw something worthy of being seen, something more than just a trite substitution of male for female–and that I look forward to the sequel the playwright is writing. This is a worthy play to see. Period, full stop.

    And the cast ain’t bad, either.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.