Albertus Koett (standing centre) directs the cast of A Study in Scarlet. It’s the first play in a CAT series called The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes that starts Thursday at the Nickle Studio. (Contributed photo).

Sherlock Holmes will open (and close) CAT’s theatre season in Red Deer

Local playwright creates an on-going stage series, based on Conan Doyle’s stories

Sherlock Holmes will pull the curtains open on Central Alberta’s Theatre’s 2017-18 season.

And the great Baker Street detective will make regular appearances in Red Deer right through to next spring.

Local playwright and director Albertus Koett is creating a series of plays collectively called The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. They will star, of course, the brilliant sleuth first conceived by British writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887.

The plays that Koett is adapting from Conan Doyle’s Holmes stories, will be staged at the Nickle Studio — starting with the first installment A Study in Scarlet, running from Sept. 14-16.

The series will continue in February with three one-act Holmes mysteries: The Red-Headed League, The Boscombe Valley Mystery, and A Scandal in Bohemia. And the adventures will wrap up in June with another full-length show, The Sign of Four.

Like thousands of mystery-lovers around the world, Koett is hooked on Holmes who solves crimes with his trusty sidekick Dr. Watson. “He’s just a fascinating character… He’s smarter than everyone,” Koett explained.

“He’s smarter than the reader and smarter than Watson… His logic is always infallible.”

Holmes is the rare breed who can be perfect, “and we have to accept that. He always knows the answer,” Koett added.

While other authors and filmmakers have spun the Sherlock Holmes character into various guises over the years — from opium slave (The Seven Percent Solution) to martial arts expert (the recent Guy Ritchie movies), Koett is more of a traditionalist.

He said his adaptions will stick closely to the Victorian feel of the books and characters. However, Koett’s efforts to bring the stories to life mean his stage versions can’t be strictly faithful. Some characters have had to be omitted or combined into composites.

Others, such as Holmes’s landlady Mrs. Hudson, have become more of a presence.

While Conan Doyle gave Hudson barely a passing mention, Koett explained that the motherly character has become so popular in films and TV adaptations that she will get more attention in his scripts.

The playwright has also created links between the various stories he’s presenting as part of this CAT season. The first play, A Study in Scarlet, will drop hints about the next one, and so on.

He’s hoping the same actors will carry on in their roles throughout the series. Jason Steele will portray Holmes, Paul Sutherland is Watson and Lorraine Stuart is Mrs. Hudson in A Study in Scarlet.

Koett anticipates that The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes will be great fun for fans of the intrepid detective, as well as anyone who loves a good mystery. Music lovers will also be entertained each evening by the Baker Street Band, featuring local guest artists.

Morgan McKee and Curtis Phagoo of Heartbroke Heroes, will play on Sept. 14 and 15, and Nathan Danser will perform on Sept. 16.

Theatre-goers can follow the Holmes stage series (and get some helpful preview information) on facebook/theadventuresofsherlockholmes.

Tickets to A Study in Scarlet are available from the Black Knight Ticket Centre, or the door (if any tickets are remaining).

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