Contents:

What can you find here? Reviews of new and not quite so new Sherlock Holmes novels and collections. Interviews with authors, link to blogs worth following, links to where you can purchase my books and some reviews of my work garnered from Amazon sites. Plus a few scary pics of me and a link to various Lyme Regis videos on YouTube...see what we do here and how....and indeed why!!! Next to the Lyme Regis Video Bar is a Jeremy Brett as Holmes Video Bar and now a Ross K Video Bar. And stories and poems galore in the archives.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

WRITERS

CALLING ALL SHERLOCK HOLMES WRITERS. 

As some of you may know I am an author of Sherlock Holmes pastiches. A few years ago I compiled and edited Tales From The Stranger's Room in two volumes with mostly work from unpublished writers. I am now looking to create a new volume. The two volumes featured short pieces, quirky pieces and poetry etc. If you wish to take part feel free to contact me here or email me at Ruffleholmes@aol.com Thanks all!!!!!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

HOLMES AWAY FROM HOME: Richard Paolinelli

Richard Paolinelli : iBorn in Turlock, California in 1964, Richard began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 in Odessa, TX and gained his first fiction credit serving as the lead writer for the first two issues of the Elite Comics sci-fi/fantasy series, Seadragon.He won the 2001 California Newspaper Publishers Association award for Best Sports Story while at the Turlock Journal and a CNAE award for pagination in 2005 while serving as Sports Editor at the Merced Sun-Star. He was named a Player of the Year in 2002 by the CCMR Racing Series for his coverage of auto racing while at the Merced Sun-Star. aHe won the 2001 California Newspaper Publishers Association award for Best Sports Story while at the Turlock Journal and a CNAE award for pagination in 2005 while serving as Sports Editor at the Merced Sun-Star. In 2016, Richard was one of a dozen authors selected to participate in, Beyond Watson, an anthology of original Sherlock Holmes stories. Perfection's Arbiter, a biography of National League Umpire, Babe Pinelli, was released on October 8th. W & B Books acquired the rights to the Jack Del Rio Series and will release, Betrayals, the sequel to Reservations, in November. In December, Richard's second Sherlock Holmes pastiche, The Woman Returns, will be released by Belanger Books as part of the Holmes Away From Home Anthology. 

You are contributing a story, ‘The Woman Returns’ to the forthcoming anthology ‘Holmes Away From Home’. How did this involvement come about?                   

 
I actually became a part of this by way of a very long, strange path.
 
I was getting ready to retire from sports writing back in 2013 and was wondering what to do next when I discovered the books written by Jack McDevitt. I found out he was the same age when he began writing his first book as I was at the time I was retiring. I figured if he could start writing at that age and be successful at it, so could I and I decided to give fiction writing another shot. (I had written two issues of Seadragon back in 1986)
 
Jack mentioned that he was writing a Sherlock Holmes pastiche for an anthology, Beyond Watson, with the premise that it be a story told by someone other than Dr. Watson.
 
I had just finished doing some research on Winston Churchill and had the idea that a Holmes adventure involving Churchill would be fun to write. So I reached out to Derrick Belanger to see if it wasn’t too late to submit to the anthology. It wasn’t, and I sent in “A Lesson In Mercy” which is part of the Beyond Watson anthology.
 
Derrick encouraged me to submit another pastiche for Holmes Away From Home, which I gladly did and I was thrilled that it was included in this upcoming anthology.
 
 
Have you been a Holmes devotee for long?
 
I discovered Holmes at an early age. We moved around a lot when I was young because of my father’s business and the libraries at each new school and town were my reliable friends. I read all of Doyle’s original stories by age 10 and watched all of the films and televised episodes whenever I could. Jeremy Brett’s portrayal of Holmes remains my personal favorite.
 
 
Your series of books detailing the cases of FBI Agent Jack Del Rio have been received well by the public. Will the series run and run?        
            
 
You never want to say never, so there could be more Del Rio adventures. But the series was originally laid out to be just four books and I really think that I will have told all of Jack’s story that can be told by the time we get to the end of the fourth book.
 
So at this time, I don’t think there will be a fifth book or more, But, then again, eighteen months ago I never thought I’d be writing original Sherlock Holmes stories either and look where I’m at now.
 
 
You spent many years as a sports writer, do you miss that?
 
Sometimes, especially as toward the end of my career I was also doing sports photography, which was both fun and challenging.
 
During football season I do a daily On This Date tie-in with my book, From The Fields, with a look back on something that happened in the past involving a Turlock high school team and I run a Facebook page with updates on the current season and updated all-time stats.
 
But I don’t miss the late nights, the traveling and the inclement weather at all.
 
 
What constitutes a typical day for you, if there is such a thing?
 
Organized chaos, to be honest.
 
Some days it seems like the day just started and its already 10 o’clock at night. The one constant, of course, is making sure I spend at least three hours either writing or working on something related to writing (promotions, interviews, etc.) each day.
 
 
Is there likely to be a full length Sherlock Holmes tale from you in the future?        
 
Well, now that you mention it…
 
Actually, I mentioned to Derrick a few months back that I had an idea for a third Holmes story that I might be able to develop into a full-length story. It would have an element of science fiction to it (I’m always scrambling my genres together) and maybe even a little steampunk for good measure. But it would definitely have the feel of a true Holmes story and I think Doyle would have enjoyed reading it.  
 
 
And....the million dollar question; your favourite Holmes story is?
 
Ugh, you’re asking me to pick my favorite child here.
 
As much as I love Hound of the Baskervilles, I’m going to have to say my absolute favorite has to be A Scandal in Bohemia, which explains why I wrote The Woman Returns.  I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between Holmes and Irene Adler.
 
Thanks Richard! Visit Richard's website HERE

For news of Holmes Away From Home, click HERE!


Monday, 21 November 2016

MONMOUTH!!!

The dream team of writer, Andy Rattenbury and director, Clemmie Reynolds who gave us The Tempest of Lyme last year (with a bit of help from Shakespeare) are combining to create: Monmouth The West Country Rebellion as next year's community play. Expect a large cast of local performers and musicians giving their all to entertain and delight. The Duke of Monmouth would have been delighted to have so many willing volunteers. Who knows, Sedgemoor may have turned out differently. Lyme Regis could have been the capital of the West Country and been a city as Monmouth promised! Anyway, enough rambling. Set aside a weekend or two next July for this theatrical feast.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

DAVID MARCUM: AN INTERVIEW


David Marcum first discovered Sherlock Holmes in 1975, at the age of ten, when he received an abridged version of The Adventures during a trade. He is the author of "The Papers of Sherlock Holmes" Vol.'s I and II (2011, 2013), "Sherlock Holmes and A Quantity of Debt" (2013) and "Sherlock Holmes - Tangled Skeins" (2015). Additionally, he is the editor of the three-volume set "Sherlock Holmes in Montague Street" (2014, recasting Arthur Morrison's Martin Hewitt stories as early Holmes adventures,) and the massive three-volume "The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories" (2015). he is the editor of the forthcoming anthology; Holmes Away From Home.   




You are busy acquiring a reputation as a fine editor of various Sherlock Holmes anthologies, how did that come about?

Thank you for those kind words. I’m still an amateur editor, but I’m learning more and more as I go along.

I’ve edited my own works and various engineering papers for myself and others for years. I think that if you read a lot, you learn how to write and see things that do or don’t work. I had never thought about editing Holmes books as a goal, but one morning in early 2015, I woke up early from a vivid dream about a Holmes anthology that I’d edited. Instead of going back to sleep and forgetting about it, I emailed a few friends and publisher Steve Emecz, and everyone was positive, so I started asking a few other people if they’d like to participate. Eventually interest grew and grew until it turned into the three-volume hardcover set, The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories. It was the biggest collection of new traditional Holmes stories in one place ever, over sixty stories, and all the authors’ royalties go to support the Stepping Stones School for special needs students at Undershaw, one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s former homes.

After those initial three volumes, the system was still in place, the school still needed funds, and there can never be enough traditional Holmes stories. So we charged ahead, and since then there have been two more MX anthologies this year, Part IV – 2016 Annual, and Part V – Christmas Adventures, and two more are already in the works for next year.

As if that editing wasn’t enough, I’ve also just finished the two-volume set for Belanger Books, Holmes Away From Home, with stories from The Great Hiatus. And I already have almost all of the stories for next year’s Belanger Books anthology, Before Watson, with tales set before Holmes and Watson’s meeting at Barts on January 1st, 1881.

What do you look for in a Holmes story? What for you, makes it work?       


I’ve been reading and collecting traditional Holmes pastiches since I was ten years old, in 1975, and since then I’ve accumulated several thousand of them. I organize them into a Chronology of both Canon and pastiche. Doing that, I play The Game with deadly seriousness, treating Holmes and Watson as historical individuals. As such, first and foremost, I only read and include stories that fit within The Game. No ghosts, vampires, or time travel. No modern day settings, and absolutely no “Sherlock” and “John”. Holmes is not Van Helsing or Dr. Who, but he does need to be a hero, and not some damaged loser who is so broken that, without Watson’s help, he cannot function – I don’t want to read about that guy. When editing, that’s how I judge a story.

What advice would give to budding pastiche writers?

One very important thing is to go ahead and write – don’t be overwhelmed by a blank screen. Start putting something – anything – down. It may not work, it may have to be completely scrapped at some point, but you have something that you can build upon and tie to something else, and if you keep chipping away at it, you’ll be amazed at how a thing that wasn’t there before now exists.

When I went to school to be a civil engineer, they taught us the “Engineering Method”, which is not to be overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Rather, pick pieces you can work on, and if you hit an impasse at one place, move on to some other piece. If you’re stuck on a difficult part of a story, jump ahead to somewhere after that part and start the next piece. Sew them all up when you’re done.

Do your editing duties impinge on your own writing?

Since I’m an amateur writer, my writing method is to find some quite time, usually early on a Saturday morning, and sit down and start typing. I don’t outline at all. Rather, I just listen to Watson telling the story and race to stay caught up while I transcribe it. For a normal 8,000 word story, it takes about two of these sessions, three-to-four hours each, to get the basic story in place. I’m not really aware of the passage of time when I’m writing – I come back and have a big chunk of story in front of me, and all of my coffee has disappeared.

Editing, on the other hand, is an ongoing process. People send me stories steadily, and I read them pretty much as they arrive. When I receive them, I immediately format them as if they were going to be accepted and dropped into the book template. I fix and unify all sorts of things, such as punctuation, layout, etc., for consistency. Only then do I actually read and edit the story and either accept or reject it outright, or send it back comments regarding loose plot threads or holes, or things that don’t fit with The Canon. It has to fit with The Canon!

Away from editing, writing, and work, what do you enjoy doing?               


I’ve always enjoyed reading, and I read a LOT of stuff besides Holmes. Additionally, I love music. When I went to college for my first degree back when I was eighteen, I started as a piano performance major on scholarship, performing in recitals and accompanying vocal performance majors. However, a couple of years of that convinced me that I wanted to retain my amateur status, and I finished up with a degree in Business Management – which helped a lot when I went back to school years later to be a civil engineer. Music is still very important to me, and I usually can’t walk through the house without stopping and playing something on the piano. I just wish that I could sing better, like my musical hero, Mr. Billy Joel.

Of course, I’ll take any chance that I can get to spend time with my wife and son, even if we’re just hanging out at home. And the older I get, the more I want to be outside, even if it’s just for a good long walk, or sitting on the deck and reading.


If you could visit on Holmesian location you have not yet been to, what would it be?

Excellent question. Since childhood, I’d dreamed of visiting London and England, all because of Holmes. I wanted to start in Baker Street and spread out from there. I was finally able to take my trip-of-a-lifetime Holmes Pilgrimage in 2013, visiting hundreds of Holmes-related sites, based on years of research in the two-dozen-plus Holmes travel books in my collection. I was able to return for Holmes Pilgrimages II and III in 2015 and 2016, both in connection with the MX anthologies.

Having now been so many Holmes-related places in England, some of them more than once, I think that I’d like to get to the Reichenbach Falls. After that, I really don’t have much interest in the rest of the Continent – I’d hurry back to Baker Street and do that all over again.

Aside from the editing, what are you currently working on?

I’ve been writing a number of stories for the anthologies that I edit, as well as a few that have been requested for other people’s anthologies. I’m also working on stories for a super-secret Holmes-related project that I hope will come to fruition soon – you’ll either hear about that, or you won’t. And I really need to write some other Holmes stories for another of my own books for MX. I now have enough accumulated stories from previous anthologies to make another collection, but I want to write some more new stuff too.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity, and also thanks to the many authors – now nearly 100 of you! – who have participated in the various anthologies that keep the memory green for the true Sherlock Holmes!


Thanks David. For news on Holmes Away From Home, click HERE

Friday, 11 November 2016

HOLMES AWAY FROM HOME: AN INTERVIEW WITH SONIA FETHERSTON


For more than 15 years Sonia was a successful advertising and public relations executive in her native Pacific Northwest. She’s now an extremely busy freelance writer whose work has appeared in publications and on websites world-wide. Her current project is a book about the silent film appearances of legendary stage/screen actor John Barrymore.
Sonia has published a dozen scholarly articles in THE BAKER STREET JOURNAL, the preeminent quarterly of Sherlockiana. For her research and writing excellence, she was honored with the prestigious Morley-Montgomery Award (2012), as well as with an Eddie Award (2013) from The Baker Street Irregulars. Sonia was the author of the BSI’s (2012) Christmas Annual, BARRYMORE IN BAKER STREET. Her book, PRINCE OF THE REALM: THE IRREGULAR LIFE OF JAMES BLISS AUSTIN (2014) is about an early member of the BSI. She was a contributing author for two titles of Calabash Press’s distinguished CASEFILES series. Sonia’s byline has appeared in Sherlockian publications from Italy to Australia, Japan to Canada, Sweden to the United States. She’s an active member of four scion societies.
Sonia Fetherston received her BSI Investiture, The Solitary Cyclist, in 2014.


When did your love affair with Sherlock Holmes begin?

I was probably five years old.  My dad wrote college textbooks, and he insisted that our house had to be completely silent when he was working.  So I’d crouch in front of our old black-and-white television and watch movies with the sound turned off.  In those days one of the TV stations in town showed nothing but old movies.  Without fail, once a week they’d broadcast all of the Rathbone/Bruce films back to back.  Those were glorious, goggle-eyed hours.  I thought Basil Rathbone was the most magnificent creature I’d ever seen.  He moved like a dancer, but there was always this dangerous undercurrent in his Holmes.  Later, probably around age eleven, I began to read Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories.  The first one was “The Speckled Band.”  I can still remember my heart thudding at the notion of a s-s-snake slithering over its slumbering victim.

Do your family share your interest in the Great Detective?    
             

My daughter married a Sherlockian.  I tell her she has good taste! 

How did your involvement in Holmes Away From Home come about?

Everybody knows the names Derrick Belanger and David Marcum.  What a winning team!  Derrick advertised for Sherlockian writers to propose short story ideas for the Great Hiatus years.  Purely as a lark, I sent him something.  How astonishing to learn mine was selected.  As it happens, some of my childhood was spent in Switzerland not far from the Reichenbach Falls.  I thought I might combine my very real memories of the terrain and the people with Sherlock Holmes’s flight from Moriarty’s gang.  That’s how I came to invent a little Alpine family who sheltered Holmes in the crucial hours after the incident at the falls.  The title of my story, “Over the Mountains in the Darkness” is taken directly from Holmes’s own description of his run to safety.

How much time do you spend writing?

I try to research, write, or edit nearly every day.  For years I would rise with the sun and work through the morning, but nowadays I’m more of an afternoon person.  Except for rare dips in the fiction pool, most of my writing is non-fiction – essays and commentary, biography, Sherlockian scholarship, book reviews and so on.  I’ve been a frequent contributor to magazines such as The Baker Street Journal, The Baker Street Journal Christmas Annual, Canadian Holmes, The Journal of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, The Sydney Passengers’ Log, The Sherlock Holmes Journal, The Musgrave Papers and others.  My commentary has appeared in several anthologies, like Calabash Press’s Case Files series. 

On small screen or large screen, who do you think has most successfully portrayed Holmes? And Watson?

Call me crazy, or mired in my childhood, but I’m loyal to Rathbone and Bruce.  Rathbone nailed the sleek, aesthetic look and clipped speech.  His is the “voice” I always hear in my head when I read the Canon.  But I’m honest enough to giggle at the opinion of the great John Barrymore (himself a Holmes of the silent screen) who said that Rathbone played The Great Detective rather like a rolled up umbrella that had taken elocution lessons!  As for the oft-maligned Bruce….one must consider him from the perspective of a film director of the 1940s.  His obtuse, lumpy Watson is the perfect visual and intellectual foil to Rathbone’s thinking whippet. 

How often do you read the original stories?                                      

I reach into them almost every day.  I use three different editions of the Canon – the Oxford Annotated, Baring-Gould’s Annotated and Morley’s Doubleday.  The Doubleday is my old workhorse.  There are so many colored highlights and notes scribbled in its margins, there are places where it’s difficult to see Conan Doyle’s original words!  On Twitter I’m known as “@221blonde.”  There I post daily quotes directly from the Sherlock Holmes Canon, sometimes accompanied by photos of my gewgaws: a Holmes teapot, Holmes and Watson salt and pepper shakers, vintage Sherlockian Valentine cards, an autographed picture of William Gillette, the new Basil of Baker Street Christmas ornament from Disney, and more.  My great hope is that others will feel a connection and be inspired to check out the original stories themselves.

What is your current project?

This year I wrote about a half-dozen magazine articles, all accepted for publication in 2017.  I’m just completing a book-length project for an upcoming Baker Street Journal Christmas Annual, with my friend and co-author Julie McKuras.  She and I work so well together, I hope to do other projects with her.  By the end of the week I will finish an essay for a book someone’s compiling about the quirky lives of real Sherlockians – that will be released next year.  It’s always something!

Thanks Sonia!

For more about Holmes Away From Home, click HERE!!

    

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

(Holmes Away From Home) Katie Magnusson: An Interview


Katie Magnusson has been published in the anthology An Improbable Truth: The Paranormal Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and writes reviews for the news site I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere. Her favorite hobbies are the weird ones. She is also the author of The RX Problem, set in a futuristic city detailing the adventures of characters named Watts and Sherlock. She has contributed A Murder on Mount Athos to the upcoming Holmes anthology: Holmes Away From Home.  


1.      Could you tell us about your story in the upcoming Holmes from Home collection, without giving too much away of course?

A pilgrim is found murdered one morning in one of the monasteries on Mount Athos in Greece. The monks would prefer their sacred home not be trampled by a police force, but they can’t just stand there and do nothing. Fortunately, another visitor to the monastery seems particularly skilled at detective work and agrees to help find the murderer before he can escape.

2.      How and when did your love of Sherlock Holmes first appear?

I found a copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes for obscenely cheap at a used books store and picked it up on a whim. That was seven or eight years ago, I think. I was vaguely familiar with him before that through pop culture references and The Great Mouse Detective, but I hadn’t read any of the stories (apart from a failed attempt at reading The Hound of the Baskervilles when I was maybe ten.) So, I thought I’d give it a go and try the stories out. I was instantly hooked. I devoured that book and acquired a sudden voracious enthusiasm for all things Sherlockian.

3.      Your novel, The RX Problem places characters called Watts and Sherlock in a cybernetic future. Sound as though it was fun to write...was it?

Immensely! Shortly after reading the Sherlockian Canon, I switched gears and read William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and the two sort of converged in my head, though my world is much less dystopian than his. My characters take a lot from Holmes and Watson, and there are Sherlockian references throughout the stories, but they’re not Holmes and Watson. It’s been a lot of fun watching them become their own people.

4.      What are the different challenges involved in writing a traditional Holmes tale as say compared to a steampunk version?

In both cases, the biggest challenge is preserving the characters. In order to do justice to the character, the author has to consider how he would react and make certain that they're writing Holmes, not just a popular culture stereotype version. I will read Sherlock Holmes in whatever world an author puts him in, and the biggest problem I’ve seen is the author becoming distracted by the setting or relying on stereotype, instead of really considering how Holmes would make his living and act in a world with airships, or magic, or whatever you like. That being said, when Holmes is still Holmes, it is so much fun to watch how he would respond to anything thrown at him. I think, for me, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between writing a historical story and a fantastical one. I’m probably going to do the same amount of planning and/or research for either, trying to envision the setting as best I can before I drop the Great Detective in the middle of it all, adapting him to the new situation.

5.      Your favourite Conan Doyle Holmes tale?

Oh, heck. Choosing one is hard. “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs” is probably one of the top five, simply because it has that amazing moment when we get a glimpse of the great heart along with the great mind. “The Six Napoleons” makes me melt every time I read Lestrade telling Holmes he’s proud of him. “The Blue Carbuncle” is just a lot of fun, and “The Speckled Band” has one of my favorite encounters between Holmes and a villain… but I could go on like this for ages.

6.      Do you have a structured writing routine and you are a bookseller...dream job?

I wish I had a structured writing routine. As it is, I write on break at work, and I write when I have an hour or two at home after my son’s in bed, and I constantly jot down ideas whenever I’m out and about running errands. It’s not ideal, but it’s what I have to work with. I never planned on being a bookseller, it just sort of happened that way, but I enjoy it. I do struggle with not spending my paycheck at my workplace, though.

7.      Your husband is a philosopher...does that make for cosy fireside chats?

Ha! Sometimes? Now that I think about it, discussions on the nature of mankind typically occur while doing dishes. Nights are most often spent watching movies or tv, or playing board games.

Thanks Katie!!


For more on Holmes Away From Home, Click HERE!!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

HOLMES FROM HOME


Sherlock Holmes! The Great Hiatus!

Check out this incredible upcoming collection of traditional Holmes stories, exploring those mysterious years between 1891 and 1894, when Holmes was thought to have died at the Reichanbach Falls. Instead, he survived and travelled all across the world. Find out more about where he went and what he did there.

Contribute now - Perfect for Christmas!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1306925656/holmes-away-from-home-adventures-from-the-great-hi?token=33c45862


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Pastiche Ponderings


Pastiche Ponderings


What makes a pastiche a true pastiche? What criteria, if any, do we need to apply? I think of a true Holmes pastiche as being written/narrated by Watson in that familiar style we enjoy so much. If possible, taking it further, I prefer pastiches that have their opening scene in the sitting-room of 221b Baker Street, after all, as a location, it is the beating heart of the Canon. With one or two exceptions. all my Holmes pieces start in that fashion, it is where we see Holmes and Watson at their most relaxed and convivial. How far can we as authors take Holmes and Watson..are there places we should not go? Themes and issues we should not address? For the most part, I would say no with some reservations, particularly as to 'slash' which often has homoerotic content, it's not the Holmes and Watson that I know and love. Old age and death is another issue which has caused controversy over the years. In essence, we cannot 'play the game' of Holmes and Watson et al being real people with real adventues unless we also acknowledge their mortality. The idea of the two of them in their latter years fascinates me, what changes would have come about in their relationship? Would old age have mellowed Holmes? My novella 'End Peace' takes this on a stage further and whilst I do not consider it a risky venture, some may have problems, not so much for character death (should there be any he says cagily!) but for other content!
Just had a quick head count of the Sherlock Holmes pastiches I own (novels not short stories which run into hundreds) and I find it to be 153!! Yes, one hundred and fifty-three, which of course got me to pondering once more on pastiches. It's fair to say, which I have on many occasions, that I prefer shorter novels (that's not necessarily the reason why mine are novella length-more to do with my limited plotting expertise!) but I do enjoy a certain amount of canonical fidelity, more than enjoy I guess, I positively demand it! First, my preference is for Watson to be narrating, it's well nigh impossible to see a Holmes story in any other light for me. Further fidelity comes from adhering to certain facts in the canon; for example using accepted Holmesian chronology such as birthdates for Holmes and Watson (1854 and 1852 respectively for me) and having the stories set within the framework of that chronology i.e nothing taking place between 1891 and 1894 ( yes I know Watson erred in that regard). With my own scribbling I have tried very hard to keep to those principles; 'Lyme Regis Horror' takes place during a blank period in 1896, acknowledges the fat that Mrs Watson is dead etc. 'Lyme Regis Trials is set in 1903 so we find Holmes retired to Sussex and Watson living in Queen Anne Street. I stress that this fidelity acts as a framework to hang a tale and with that fidelity as a starting point then flights of fancy may take the writer and by extension the reader anywhere, but Holmes, Watson and their world remains recognisable and grounded in 'reality'. Obviously this is a personal view and it does not mean that I have not enjoyed pastiches that do not follow these 'rules'. Holmes has to be Holmes and Watson has to be Watson, even the BBC's 'Sherlock' recognised that and whilst it cannot claim to be faithful to the canon, it is certainly true to the spirit of the original and there is enough canonical detail in there to satisfy most Holmesians. And now I am rambling.....and I am peckish......and I have a Rammstein CD lined up to play; nothing like German industrial/heavy metal to liven up one's day!!



Wednesday, 27 July 2016

THE TEMPEST OF LYME....FINAL BLOG

The dust has now settled after the final performance of The Tempest of Lyme and what a performance it was! The whole experience of evolving individual scenes into a cohesive whole was riveting and a joy to observe. En route to being performance ready, the cast and musicians bonded and there have been many friendships forged. I will remember so much about this production, Nicca's masterly Prospera, which was a masterclass in bravado and emotion. The interplay between Nicca and her Ariels was at once both touching and moving and the moments when Prospera was directing no small amount of pain towards her Ariels was especially moving, not least because of artistry of the actresses who combined to give us an unforgettable Ariel. Lucy, Sophie, Aurelia, Freya, Becky, Serena and Faye together were mesmerising. Truth be told, everyone involved in this production gave their all and I was in awe of everyone. I wish it could have gone on longer, I really do. We should be grateful such talent exists in Lyme and its environs from the youngest of our cast to the oldest. (whoever that was! Not me I hasten to add, although....) And Clemmie, dear Clemmie whose vision this was. I only hope we fulfilled it!


Friday, 22 July 2016

The Tempest of Lyme...An interview with Sophie Thomas

Sophie Thomas is one of our Ariels. Let's learn more about her...

Have you always wanted to perform?

I have always loved theatre, film… all things dramatic! When I left the University of York having studied History, I decided to forge a career behind the scenes and, after brief work experience on Broadchurch, started work as a Floor Runner on the television series Doc Martin. It wasn’t until I was on set on the first day, watching all the actors arrive, their interactions with the director, that I decided acting was something I really wanted to pursue.


How did you get started?

Well I turned down a very exciting Production job on BBC’s Wolf Hall in order to take a slightly less exciting office job that was flexible enough for me to start building my acting experience and training. I took weekend classes at Pinewood Studios, London and Bristol for a year before the opportunity to continue my studies in Paris presented itself!

You spent some time in Paris recently, ostensibly studying/working! How did that work out?

I spent last year at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq studying theatre and acting which was an incredible experience. The training was based around the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq which focuses on physical theatre, movement and mime. One of the most enjoyable aspects was that each week we worked in small groups to create a short piece of theatre based on a given theme using inspiration from our lessons. Nearly every week our small creations were torn to pieces by our exacting teachers (by exacting I mean brutal) who left us in no doubt of our errors, and on our own when it came to finding solutions. It has given me a great respect for the creative process and I now see the stage as a place of infinite possibilities to explore.

How are you enjoying the experience of rehearsing for The Tempest of Lyme?

It has been really fantastic! There are so many wonderful people involved in the project, most importantly Clemmie whose vision and direction are the driving force behind the production. I hope to direct in the future, certainly create my own work and I have definitely learnt a great deal from her and this experience. This is my first Shakespeare production and I couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else! It has been a real journey for everyone and I shall miss seeing all the wonderful people involved each week when we are done!

All the Ariels seem to be bonding so well together. Would you agree with that?

As we are playing one character, with a very physical approach to the part, it has been essential that we work well together in order to create the sense of one entity.

And the future? Do you see yourself performing? Writing? Or?

I have already mentioned my interest in directing and creating my own theatre! Primarily I see myself performing. I start rehearsals after The Tempest for a new play, “Eggs”, written by Rachel Besser which will be performed at the Cygnet Theatre in Exeter in September by Tree Shadow Theatre Productions. It deals with the challenging and sometimes controversial subject of Fertility and will definitely be a challenging piece as each actor involved will be playing multiple roles. We hope to go on tour in the New Year. If anyone would like more information about the production… visit http://www.treeshadowtheatreproductions.co.uk/news/new-writing-to-be-performed-in-exeter-this-september/ . I am also writing my first play although this is proving to be a lengthy process with frequent periods of writers block!

Thanks, Sophie!