Sherlock Holmes: Murder at the Abbey Grange

One Act Adaptation – Single Set – 5 men, 2 women


Photos courtesy of Hardcover Theater, Minneapolis, MN

Commissioned By: Hardcover Theater

Description: When Sherlock Holmes discovers the truth behind a mysterious murder, he must decide between the law and his conscience.

Synopsis: An urgent telegram from Scotland Yard rouses Holmes and Watson out of bed and into a chilly winter dawn. Sir Eustace Brackenstall, one of the richest men in Kent, has been murdered. However upon arriving at the Abbey Grange, Sherlock discovers that the crime is quite ordinary and far below his skills. As the young wife of Sir Eustace explains, she and her husband discovered a gang of burglars, who killed Sir Eustace during a heated melee.

Holmes becomes very tired and irritable. Nevertheless, he finds a curious clue in three wine glasses. And this small discovery leads to one of the most extraordinary cases in his distinguished career. Sherlock Holmes discovers something indeed is very much amiss at the Abbey Grange, and lets a murderer go free.

Considered to be one of the best short stories written by A. Conan Doyle.

Why It Was Written: My first play for Hardcover Theater was this one act adaptation of Doyle’s The Adventure of the Abbey Grange. The crime has a terrific moral dilemma for Holmes. After he solves the very difficult case, he then has to decide whether this murder is justified. The original story has a political theme, as Doyle wrote it as an indictment of the divorce laws in Great Britain at the time (early 1900’s).

Hardcover Theater performed the play during the Minnesota Fringe Festival, and it was a popular production with a terrific cast. We apparently got good word of mouth with parents, because a lot of moms brought their sons to see it. Perhaps you would like to investigate further… the script is afoot!

Read the First Ten Pages: Script Sample