Written by 4:59 pm Laguna beach, Review, Theater, Uncategorized

Holmes & Watson @ Laguna Playhouse – Review

Written by Patrick Chavis

HOLMES & WATSON is now playing at the Laguna Playhouse from May 29 to June 16, 2024.

England’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, has intrigued readers for decades. Using his deduction and detective skills, Holmes outwitted his criminal enemies, and no enemy was more dangerous than Professor Moriarty, the Napoleon of Crime.


For fans of Sherlock Holmes, Jeffrey Hatcher’s Holmes & Watson is a deep cut into the famous detective’s catalog with many juicy references to sink your teeth into. But for the newly initiated, it may lack the thrills of other Sherlock mysteries.

Matt Koenig, Matthew Floyd Miller, Mike Peebler, Alice Sherman, Christopher M. Williams, Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper and Richard Baird star in the Laguna Playhouse production of “HOLMES & WATSON” by Jeffrey Hatcher, directed by David Ellenstein and now playing at the Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach.

It has been three years, and Sherlock has been reported dead after a harrowing fight against his biggest enemy, the Napoleon of Crime, Professor Moriarty (Mike Peebler), though no body was found. When Watson (Richard Baird), Holmes’s assistant, learns there are three men at an asylum claiming to be Sherlock, he investigates. After years of working with the world’s greatest detective, will Watson’s detective skills be up to the challenge?

While this play can work as a self-contained story on its own merits, nostalgia and callbacks to other mysteries play a big part. The playwright, Jeffrey Hatcher, has crafted a Sherlock piece for Sherlock fans, with a mystery that benefits profoundly from the lore. The play focuses more on the detective side of things and less on the adventure and the dangerous scenarios, so much so that the danger from the antagonist in this show barely registers as a threat. This story is more about the reveals than the process of actually getting there. Fortunately, the reveal is absolutely worth it.

Direction/Set Design/Sound:

Director David Ellenstein lays out a dark and cohesive vision of Holmes & Watson that is visually satisfying.

The set design from Stephen Gifford boasts a black-as-midnight color palate, from the wooden floorboards to the lifted walkway. A melancholy light descends from the large arched window. The front of the stage looks circular, and a chair and table complete the design. The set’s Gothic aesthetic and the sound design/projection by Ian Scot match well, especially during the waterfall moments with its stunning and haunting projection.


The cast in this was uniformly good. Each of the three Holmes, Christopher M. Williams, Matt Koening, and Matthew Floyd Miller, bring a unique approach to their roles.

Christopher M. Williams’s performance was particularly compelling.


Devotees of the material will enjoy this brisk, 90-minute journey back into the world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

8.2 Overall
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Set & Design8.6
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Good Show! OCR Recommended!

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