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Sherlock Holmes on the Stage

A Chronological Encyclopedia of Plays Featuring the Great Detective

Amnon Kabatchnik

One of the world's most well known fictional characters, Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print in 1887. The detective was featured in four novels and 56 short stories written by his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Within a decade of his creation Sherlock Holmes made his theatrical debut, first in a couple of obscure productions and soon in the celebrated play adapted by and starring William Gillette. Through the 20th century and beyond, the fictional detective featured in dozens of plays, not to mention radio programs, films, and television shows.

In Sherlock Holmes on Stage, Amnon Kabatchnik cites the many theatrical appearances of the great detective since his debut in a one-act musical satire in November 1893. Divided into three sections, this book focuses on plays written or cowritten by Conan Doyle, one-act productions, and plays written by other authors—either adaptations of the novels and stories or original works. Within these sections, each entry is arranged in chronological order and provides a plot synopsis, production details, and other unique features. Some entries identify principal actors and provide biographical sketches of the playwrights, as well as those actors who made a lasting impression as the fictional sleuth. The book also includes several appendixes that focus on special productions, plays that feature variations of the Holmes character, and a list of acting editions.
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Scarecrow Press
Pages: 216Size: 6 3/8 x 9 3/8
978-0-8108-6125-1 • Hardback • June 2008 • $85.00 • (£54.95)
978-1-4617-0722-6 • eBook • June 2008 • $84.99 • (£54.95)
Amnon Kabatchnik, now retired, was a Professor of Theatre at SUNY Binghamton, Stanford University, Ohio State University, Florida State University, and Elmira College. He is the author of Blood on the Stage: Milestone Plays of Crime, Mystery and Detection, An Annotated Repertoire, 1900-1925 (Scarecrow, 2008) and Blood on the Stage II (Scarecrow, 2009).
Page-turner....This is the kind of detail that brings the history of Sherlock Holmes in the theater to life.... Thick with interest to Sherlock Holmes scholars, theater students, and late 19th century popular scholars like.
College & Research Libraries, March 2009

Preferable to others...it provides the opportunity to enjoy the plays rather than merely read a list. The volume is much more accessible than the play scripts themselves, many of which are quite scarce. The characterizations of Holmes, Watson, and their milieu are dizzying in their variety and complexity.
Los Angeles Times, August 2008

The author of Blood on the Stage: Milestone Plays of Crime, Mystery, and Detection: An Annotated Repertoire, 1900-1925...has written an equally meritorious survey of the theatrical Holmes....What sets this book apart from other references on the 'public Holmes' are the detailed plot summaries and production histories, often including further professional biography of writers and actors involved.
Mystery Scene, December 01, 2008

Kabatchinik's research for this book leaves me in awe....Kabatchnik...does a good job.
Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine

A concise overview.... Clearly written.... Sufficiently engaging.... Will appeal to any library supporting Sherlockian interests or theater studiesssss
American Reference Books Annual

Theatre director Amnon Kabatchnik has done his homework and then some....It's hard to imagine you'll find a single source as detailed and thorough....recommended for Holmes completists and those with a meticulous fascination with theatre history.

A concise overview.... Clearly written.... Sufficiently engaging.... Will appeal to any library supporting Sherlockian interests or theater studies
American Reference Books Annual

It is highly likely that Amnon Kabatchnik's book on Holmes is a first, as it examines the theatrical Holmes. Each chapter in the book ends with a set of notes, and appendix G provides a full list of the plays in the book. On close reading the book is written in a style that contains an element of humor and distinct tongue-in-cheek. Clearly this book is worth purchasing for institutions that run courses which relate to Conan Doyle's work or fictional crime literature.
Reference Reviews, June 2009

From that inglorious beginning, the famous resident of 221B Baker Street has gone on to star in musicals, comedies, thrillers, solo shows, at least one puppetry piece, and a fairy tale about the heir of a marshmallow tycoon. Such are the revelations of Kabatchnik's energetically researched volume, which covers scores of Doyle-derived works. Theatre scholars and hardcore Sherlockians will welcome this book...
American Theatre, October 1, 2009