History and Mystery – The Game’s Afoot

The principal character of Stoke Rep Players next production, Ken Ludwig’s The Games Afoot or Holmes for the Holidays, is William Gillette.

In his Authors Notes, Ken Ludwig wrote –

William Gillette was a star of the American stage during the early part of the 20th century. He wrote the play Sherlock Holmes in collaboration with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and he starred in it with enormous success in both New York and London for a total of 1,300 performances spread over thirty years.

Gillette’s portrayal of Holmes helped to create the modern image of the detective. His use of the deerstalker cap (which first appeared in some Strand illustrations by Sidney Paget) and the curved pipe became enduring symbols of the character.

As well as assuming the role on stage, Gillette also starred in the silent motion picture based on his Holmes play, and voiced the character twice on radio.


William Gillette became associated with Holmes in the public’s imagination; and with his royalties from this and other plays, he built a replica of a medieval castle on the Connecticut River filled with gadgets representing the latest technology. It was here that he entertained the casts of his latest New York hits, and he remained beloved to his fans until his death in his eighties. Gillette Castle is open to the public to this day.


With such a great historic background and thrilling subject matter, you can be sure to expect non-stop danger and laughter in this glittering whodunit.

Don’t miss our next production –

Richard Morrey as Holmes

Richard Morrey as Holmes

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