Acacia Theatre Company

Shepherd Express: Holmes and Watson is a “sheer delight” that “makes for one very entertaining experience”!

Sherlock Lives in ‘Holmes and Watson’
BY HARRY CHERKINIAN JUN. 12, 2023 10:07 A.M.

Josh Schiebe and Jason Will Photo: Melinda Rhodebeck

In Jeffrey Hatcher’s cleverly written mystery, Holmes and Watson, the world-famous detective Sherlock Holmes is thought to still be alive, three years after plunging to his death into a watery abyss, while fighting his arch nemesis, Professor Moriarty. No bodies were ever found.

Three male inmates in an asylum on a remote island all claim to be Holmes. And his devoted assistant, Dr. Watson, is brought in to identify the real sleuth and determine the truth. And therein lies the sheer delight in watching this well-staged production by Acacia Theatre Company: just what is the truth? And who exactly is telling it?

Absolutely no spoilers here since that’s the fun in watching this fascinating story unfold with all its twists and turns, and there’s plenty of them. The drama holds our attention throughout as the mystery is told in flashbacks. Each inmate is brought in to recount his details of the events leading up to Holmes’ death and aftermath

Director Elaine Wyler uses the simple, intimate space well in conjuring the images in our minds of an isolated asylum to the slippery slopes of the dangerous waterfalls. And she has also assembled a fine cast of actors who do a remarkable job, be it a lead or supporting role. As Watson, Josh Scheibe is every inch the proper and loyal Holmes sidekick, chronicling the cases while finding himself in the middle of one. Josh Will plays the asylum’s gatekeeper, Dr. Evans with a striking range and depth, slowly peeling back the layers while playing off Watson as the mystery deepens.

L to R: Mark Neufang, Ben Yela, and Michael Chobanoff Photo: Melinda Rhodebeck

And kudos to the actors playing the three Holmes wannabes: Mark Neufang hits just the right tones of ego and arrogance sparring with Ben Yela’s erratic man in a straightjacket. Michael Chobanoff captivates with his blind, deaf and mute portrayal of #3. Watching the three inmates interact with one another as well as their interrogators only circles back to the central question: is Holmes still alive?

Holmes and Watson reveals all at play’s end, including that a well written play with smart direction and a talented cast makes for one very entertaining experience. No mystery there!

Holmes and Watson runs through June 25 in Norvell Commons at St. Christopher’s Church, 7845 N. River Road, River Hills.

Run Time: 75 minutes (no intermission).

Please note: the sound of gunfire is used during the performance. For more information, call: 414-744-5995 or visit

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