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My Dear Watson (1166)

A Sherlock Holmes Musical

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  • TITLE OF WORK: My Dear Watson
  • SUBTITLE: A Sherlock Holmes Musical
  • SELECT ONE: Adapted with permission
  • REFERENCE WORK: The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • NATURE: Drama or Tragedy
  • STRUCTURE: Spoken dialogue with occasional songs
  • APPROXIMATE DURATION (Hrs/Min): 1 hr 45 mins
  • DESIRED INSTRUMENTATION: Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, French Horn, Bassoon, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Bass, Piano, Percussion
  • BRIEFLY STATE THE THEME or MESSAGE: The work explores the friendship of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson from beginning to end. The major theme is that love and kindness can be found in a variety of unexpected ways...and unexpected people.

Cast Description

SHERLOCK HOLMES, the detective.  Tall, thin, and pale.  Very eccentric, unemotional, but brilliant.  Impeccably dressed in gentleman’s attire.  Always smokes a pipe throughout the story. Baritone.

DR. JOHN WATSON, Holmes’ roommate, friend, and partner in detection.  Medium height, thin, but strong.  Neatly dressed in gentleman’s attire with a gentleman’s walking stick with a curved handle.  His leg was wounded in the war, so he walks with a limp. Tenor.

PROFESSOR MORIARTY, the evil arch nemesis. Tall, thin, and pale, like Holmes.  Dresses in dark, upper class gentleman’s clothing except for his several disguises. Baritone.

INSPECTOR LESTRADE, the bumbling Scotland Yard inspector. Can be played by either a male or female actor. Baritone.

CECIL BARKER, middle-aged, rugged American man. Minimal singing.

MR. DOUGLAS, new money, wealthy, middle-aged American man. Minimal singing.

MRS DOUGLAS, new money, wealthy British woman, early-30s. Minimal singing.

MRS. HUDSON, Holmes’ and Watson’s landlady.  Middle-class elderly Scottish woman. No singing.




Act I

Dr. John Watson, a military doctor, arrives in London after being injured in the war.  He encounters Inspector Lestrade, an old friend, and Lestrade reluctantly introduces Watson to Sherlock Holmes. The two agree to share an apartment to help with the rent money. 

Years later, Holmes has just received a telegram informing the murder or Mr. Douglas, a wealthy American, from the nefarious Professor Moriarty. Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade investigate the murder. Holmes figures out the strange mystery and finally reveals the surprising conclusion that Mr. Douglas is, in fact, still alive. When the intruder entered the house, Mr. Douglas killed him in self-defense and dressed the man in his clothes to make it look like him.

Meanwhile, Holmes and Watson return to Baker Street.  A man whom we later learn to be Professor Moriarty enters under the pretense that he is a messenger.  Moriarty pulls a gun and shoots, but Watson takes the bullet.  Moriarty escapes. The telegram informs them that Mr. and Mrs. Douglas are dead, and Holmes realizes that they were only pawns in Moriarty’s plot against Holmes. 

Act II

Three months have passed, and Watson has been concerned about Holmes ever since the incident with Moriarty. Holmes returns frightened and asks Watson to accompany him to Switzerland to hide from Moriarty. Watson readily agrees.  Despite their attempts, Moriarty outsmarts them and follows them to Switzerland.  At this point, Holmes comes to the startling realization that the only way to stop Moriarty is through mutual destruction, but does not reveal this to Watson.

Meanwhile, Moriarty, disguised, comes asking for Watson to return to the hotel to tend to an ill woman. Watson, not recognizing Moriarty, is concerned for Holmes’s safety, but he reluctantly leaves, leaving Holmes and Moriarty alone.  In one final attempt to resolve their dispute peacefully, Moriarty attempts to coerce Holmes to become a part of his crime ring. Holmes is momentarily tempted, but ultimately remembers what he must do.  Holmes and Moriarty fight and both fall over the falls. 

A mourning Watson, having returned to London, is sent a package, which contains Holmes’s pipe--an item he had with him when he died.

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