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Sherlock Holmes - The Musical


Book, Music and Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse

Based on characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Bristol Old Vic Theatre - 16 March, 1993


What appears at first to be the final confrontation between master detective Sherlock Holmes and his perennial arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty, proves to be more than even Holmes bargained for as he finds himself facing an old-but-new enemy in the delicious and vengeful form of Moriarty's brilliant and beautiful daughter Bella, whose determination to outwit and destroy the great detective is even greater than that of her father.


The play opens after Professor Moriarty's death and Sherlock Holmes' miraculous return to life. As Dr. Watson and Mrs. Hudson describe the many eccentricities on their friend, we find that Holmes is, to Watson's disbelief, missing Moriarty. Holmes is quickly assured that there is plenty of work left for him in London and he is temporarily reassured.

But a meeting with the Beautiful Bella Spellgrove (the daughter of Professor Moriarty). Watson, though married, is immediately taken with her beauty. Though Holmes is not as immediately smitten, he is drawn into a battle of wits of sort when Bella accuses him of hiding behind Watson's 'loveable moose' so that he can feel better about himself, which she claims as a great annoyance to women of her intelligence. We then see Mrs. Hudson lamenting the hardships in her own life, as a widow forced to rent rooms to lodgers to make ends meet.

Act Two opens with a desperate search for Bella, as Holmes is afraid that by losing her he loses the last link to Moriarty, a connection he still misses terribly. But, unbeknownst to Holmes, Bella and her mother, Mrs. Moriarty (who was a trained Italian opera singer before her marriage) are plotting to bring 'death and disgrace' to Holmes as revenge for killing Professor Moriarty. Bella is successfully able to frame Holmes for murder when he is found inside an attic locked on the inside with a sword and a stabbed body lying in front of him. Although Holmes protests that the victim's cause of death was diphtheria, not the multiple stab wounds, he soon finds himself on the run from Inspector Lestrade.

Furious with himself for falling into the trap, Holmes curses women and their affect on the workings of the mind. Despite this, he cannot stop himself from thinking about Bella. While Watson reminisces about his old days in the military, Bella realizes that she may need Sherlock Holmes more than she cares to admit.

Holmes, meanwhile, has disguised himself and hidden amongst the poor of London. The people of London, however, are distracted from the 'problem' of Sherlock Holmes when rumors begin to leak out that Moriarty is back. Revitalized by the news and the prospect of a true mental battle, Holmes prepares himself for a sparring with Moriarty.

Bella imagines that she sees her father, and tells him not to appear to her unless he can stay. She and Holmes are reunited, and they both admit their attraction and that, as a pair, they would never be bored, as they bring out the best in each other. Holmes is able to prove that he was not, in fact the killer, and he is finally able to fill the gap that Professor Moriarty left in his life.

Cast (In order of appearance)

  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Professor Moriarty
  • Doctor Watson
  • Inspector Lestrade
  • Mrs Hudson
  • Sir Jevons Jarndyce
  • The Irregulars Wiggins
  • Mossop
  • Billy Higgin
  • Potatoes Clarke
  • Lofty Daniels
  • Mick O'Reilly
  • Bert, the Fishmonger
  • Duchess of Monmouth
  • Bella Spellgrove
  • Mrs Moriarty
  • Maria Moriarty
  • PC Bottomley
  • PC Tomkins
  • Boffy
  • Street Girl
  • Whore
  • Newsgirl
  • Market Porter

Railway Passengers, Billingsgate Market Traders, Royal Academicians, Salvation Army, Down-and-Outs.

Musical Numbers Logo

  1. Anything You Want To Know - Irregulars
  2. The Best Of You, The Best Of Me - Holmes, Bella
  3. Down the Apples 'n' Pears - Costermonger, Bella & Company
  4. Halcyon Days - Watson, Boffy
  5. Her Face - Watson
  6. I Shall Find Her - Holmes, Bella, Watson, Wiggins, Irregulars & Company
  7. London Is London - Wiggins, Mossop, Bella & Company
  8. Look Around You - Holmes, Watson, Lestrade
  9. The Lord Abides in London - Bella, Salvation Army, Irregulars
  10. A Lousy Life - Mrs Hudson
  11. A Million Years Ago - Bella, Moriarty
  12. Men Like You - Holmes, Bella
  13. No Reason - Holmes
  14. Sherlock Holmes - Watson, Mrs Hudson, Wiggins, irregulars & Company
  15. Vendetta - Bella, Mrs Moriarty
  16. Without Him - Bella
  17. Without Him There Can Be No Me - Holmes, Watson


OLC - RCA Victor BD 74145