Blackeyed Theatre to bring Sherlock Holmes tale to Swindon stage

By Jessica Durston - 15 September 2022

Arts and Culture

Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear will be brought to life on the Wyvern Theatre stage, courtesy of Blackeyed Theatre.

The show will take place at the Wyvern Theatre from 27 - 29 October.  

After delighting audiences around the world with their international tour of The Sign of Four, Blackeyed Theatre will now bring to life The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This thrilling final Sherlock Holmes novel, will be brought to UK theatres through a new stage adaptation. This gripping world premiere is said to be full of mystery and adventure, and combines original music, stylish theatricality and magical story-telling for an unforgettable experience.

Tickets for the Swindon dates can be purchased at

A spokesperson for the show said: "It is the Valley of Fear, the Valley of Death. The terror is in the hearts of the people from the dusk to the dawn.

"A mysterious, coded message is received, a warning of imminent danger, drawing Sherlock Holmes and the faithful Dr Watson into a tale of intrigue and murder stretching from 221B Baker Street to an ancient moated manor house to the bleak Pennsylvanian Vermissa Valley. Faced with a trail of bewildering clues, Holmes begins to unearth a darker, wider web of corruption, a secret society and the sinister work of one Professor Moriarty."

Adapted by Nick Lane and with original music composed by Tristan Parkes, The Valley of Fear sees Luke Barton (One Man, Two Guvnors, New Wolsey/Nuffield Theatres UK Tour; Misterman, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse) and Joseph Derrington (The Importance of Being Earnest, MAC Belfast; Animal Farm, Royal & Derngate Northampton), who played Holmes and Watson respectively in The Sign Of Four, reprise their critically-acclaimed roles as the iconic duo.

The cast also includes Blake Kubena (Vikings, Amazon Prime/History Channel; The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Blackeyed Theatre) as Jack McMurdo and Detective White-Mason, Gavin Molloy (The Alchemist, Riverside Studios; Everything Must Go, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith; Eastenders, BBC) as Jack McGinty, Cecil Barker, Inspector McDonald and Moriarty, and Alice Osmanksi (Some Mothers Do Ave Em, UK Tour; The Entertainer, Curve Theatre/Simon Friend UK tour) as Ettie Shafter, Mrs Hudson, Ivy Douglas and Captain Marvin.

Writer and director Nick Lane said: "Of all Holmes' canon, The Valley of Fear isn't a story I've ever seen brought to the stage – possibly because it's two tales in one, almost – part of it taking place in England, another part in the US.

"The thrill for me, being a huge fan of crime fiction on both sides of the Atlantic, was in exploring the different tones of the two narratives; points where they mirror one another, points where they diverge... It was a challenge, but an exciting one.

"We'll be working with choreographers and fight directors as well as a composer to create something thrilling and visceral. Thematically, both stories explore loyalty – but to say more about that might give away a twist I'm keen to keep to myself."

As part of Blackeyed Theatre’s aim to make theatre more accessible to wider audiences, Sherlock Holmes: The Valley Of Fear will also be available to stream online worldwide from October.

This ‘blended’ theatre provision will support Blackeyed Theatre’s commitment to education and young people, as online access to the digital capture will be included for school groups booking to see the play in-person.

Sherlock Holmes: The Valley of Fear is produced by Blackeyed Theatre in association with South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell.

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