Sherlock Holmes and a Scandal in Bohemia

holmes office

The Long Beach Shakespeare Company 2009
click on a thumbnail to see a full production photo

office set office detail door detail office scene office scene Irene Adler's interior set Irene Adler's interior scene
Irene Adler's window Irene Adler's exterior scene Mews detail church scene ending tableau    

As is obvious, this story focuses on the character of Sherlock Holmes, so I wanted to help impress that with the scenery as well. Therefore, despite the need for a number of different locations, I opted to cut the stage in half (upstage and downstage) and use only the upstage portion to contain multiple locations. The downstage part of the stage, I devoted to the office of Holmes in his historic Baker Street apartment, and the street out front. I wanted this for two main reasons. The first was to be able to have a permanent place for Holmes, that could be dressed as needed to build the character of the space without having to deal with scene changes in it; and the second was to give a permanent ambiance of “Holmes” to the production by having his personal space always present. The revealing of the upstage area was done by partial walls, a central black curtain and a rolling bookcase. The upstage area then had to serve as four other locations: the interior of Irene Adler’s home, the exterior of Irene Adler’s home and the adjoining mews, a church, and a sort of ambiguous empty area. This was accomplished by moving walls, rolling scenery, rotating set pieces, movable furniture, and a second black curtain. Some of these scene changes needed to take place in audience sight, but some could also take place behind the central black curtain while actual scenes were taking place in Holmes’s office. This was finished off with soft lighting to give an overall moody feel to the production.