Stage Door News

Port Dover: The next Lighthouse Festival production is “The Real Sherlock Holmes”

Sunday, August 7, 2022

In just under two weeks the world premiere of The Real Sherlock Holmes will be hitting the Lighthouse Festival stage! We can't lie, this one is pretty significant to us at Lighthouse. Not only are we fortunate enough to be bringing the world premiere to you; our audience, but for the past couple of years Lighthouse Festival's Derek Ritschel has been working hand in hand with playwright Peter Colley to get this play from the script to the stage as part of our Play Development Program. To see it come to light is quite the feeling, and we sincerely hope you enjoy watching it just as much as we enjoyed developing it.

The Real Sherlock Holmes is a mystery comedy taking you on an exhilarating adventure with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his professor, Dr. Joesph Bell. The tale unfolds clue by clue and laugh by laugh as we watch Conan's inspiration for his most famous character come to life right on the stage in front of us. In a way it's an origin story of a character who is beloved by theatre audiences around the globe.

Though, you know what we love just as much as origin stories? The origin story of the origin story. Here's playwright Peter Colley with how The Real Sherlock went to the page well before it was developed for the stage:

"About three summers ago I was having coffee with Derek Ritschel in a café in Port Dover and he asked me what I was working on. I told him of my fascination about how the fictional Sherlock Holmes came to be, as Arthur Conan Doyle himself could not have been more different from his famous creation. Doyle had a lifetime obsession with mysticism, something his great detective would have despised; so where did this ultra-logical sleuth spring from? Doyle always credited Dr. Joseph Bell, his professor at Edinburgh Medical School, who showed Doyle the power of observation in solving medical mysteries.

"In this adventure, the young Doyle and his professor try to solve the perplexing case of a man who fell (or was pushed) from the battlements of Edinburgh Castle, with Doyle using the occult and Bell observation.

"It's a battle of logic versus magic - who will win the day, as the story takes us from elegant Scottish soirées on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, to the dark and dangerous underground city of Mary King's Close, and finally to a windswept castle in the Western Isles! Happily, Derek thought that the Lighthouse Festival audiences would love to hear this story, with its intriguing mystery, suspense and comic misadventures. Derek has nursed the play along with his wise advice since the very beginning, for which I will be forever grateful".

For tickets visit