The Speckled Band

Production details

  • Venue
  • Drayton Court Theatre
  • Production company
  • Drayton Court Theatre Co
  • Performance dates
  • 20 Apr–13 May 1999
  • Written by
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Directed by
  • Ken Bentley
  • Lighting design
  • Derek Carlyle


  • Billy
  • Coroner
  • John Albasiny
  • Rodgers
  • Armitage
  • Loaming
  • Dougie Arbuckle
  • Mr Milverton
  • Mrs Soames
  • Paul Betts
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Nicholas Briggs
  • Ali
  • Mr Montague
  • Derek Carlyle
  • Dr. Grimesby Rylott
  • Andrew Dickens
  • Enid Stoner
  • Sam Dowson
  • Dr. Watson
  • Daniel Gabriele
  • Mrs Staunton
  • Rebecca Jenkins


Miss Enid Stoner pays a visit to the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes. She tells Holmes about her ill-tempered stepfather, Dr. Grimesby Rylott, who has moved her into a particular room of his ancestral home. The room has some very odd features, including a bed bolted to the floor. It is also the room that Enid’s twin sister, Julia, had slept in before she died.

In 1910 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle took a lease on the Adelphi Theatre to produce The House of Temperley, a play he had written about boxing. It closed after three months. To make-up for his considerable financial losses he wrote this dramatization of one of the best known and most popular Sherlock Holmes adventures. At first he called it The Stonor Case but later reverted to calling it The Speckled Band.

The villain of the piece is Dr Grimesby Rylott, played in true Victorian melodramatic style by Andrew Dickens, although unfortunately without waxed moustache or black cape. The dynamic duo of Holmes and Watson (Nicholas Briggs and Daniel Gabriele) make a good double act, but the star turn is Rodgers the butler. Dougie Arbuckle pays homage to Charles Laughton’s Quasimodo with his twisting, wheezing and club-footed portrayal of this minor character and very nearly steals the show.
— Ealing Gazette