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“Sherlock Holmes – A Study in Lipstick, Ketchup and Blood”

June 8 - July 11


In a blasted world, two survivors – a doctor and an actor – pass the time by staging their favourite story salvaged from the flames: “A Study in Scarlet”, the origin story of Sherlock Holmes. But when tensions arise around casting, more than dead bodies start to surface… 

Pitlochry Festival Theatre will produce a brand-new adaptation by playwright and actor Lesley Hart of A Study in Scarlet, the 1887 Sherlock Holmes origin story, marking the first appearance of Holmes and Dr Watson, the most famous detective duo in literature. 

Performed in Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s outdoor Amphitheatre, Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Lipstick, Ketchup and Blood will première from 8 June – 11 July.

Lesley Hart says:

“Sherlock Holmes stories set exquisite puzzles and resolve them in an entirely logical fashion. This is one of the things that give them their enduring appeal, that we crave as humans – perhaps more so when logic fails us elsewhere. One of the things that appeals to me most about adapting A Study in Scarlet for Pitlochry Festival Theatre is the puzzle of taking this classic detective novel – which introduces two of the most iconic characters in literature, Holmes and Watson – and trying to reimagine it for a purely theatrical space, outdoors, unplugged, with only two actors and an hour to play with.

“As a stage adaptation, I want it to be rooted in the novel and its time, but also to speak vividly to a contemporary theatre audience; to honour Conan-Doyle’s characters and story but illuminate them afresh; to embrace Holmesian logic whilst asking urgent questions that logic can’t resolve: what does justice mean? What is human life worth? How should we live in this world? How should we live with each other? What power is there in stories? And in puzzling all this out, I hope to deliver a show that appeals to Holmes fans, Holmes novices, and anyone in between.

“The new adaptation will focus on the forging of Holmes and Watson’s partnership via this first joint murder investigation – and on injecting as much drama and theatricality into it all as possible. On every level this adaptation is a story of two friends striking out together – of partnership, codependency and the science and art of survival.”

Audiences will be enthralled by this riveting play as a famous mystery is brought to life in the Amphitheatre, nestled in the Explorers Garden within the shadow of Ben-Y-Vrackie.

Ticket prices from £29. 
Book online at https://pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com/whats-on/sherlock-holmes/
Concessions available – call Box Office for more information.

*Advisory warning – we recommend this play for those aged 10 and over due to strong language.


June 8
July 11
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Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Pitlochry, Perthshire PH16 5DR United Kingdom
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https://pitlochryfestival theatre.com
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