ARTS, Inc. presents the Karen Hastings Players in Philip Grecian’s radio adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles.” The play will be presented live on Monday, October 17, 2011, at 8 p.m. on KTWU-HD, Digital Channel 11.1.
Since 1999 the Karen Hastings Players, under the corporate auspices of A.R.T.S., Incorporated, have presented Philip Grecian’s staged Halloween radio dramas, featuring live music and sound effects.
As has been the custom with these dramas, the actors often play multiple roles and employ vintage microphones to simulate radio’s Golden Age. They portray radio performers of the 1940’s, and so Holmes’ deerstalker cap and Inverness cloak, like Victorian London, are created through theatre of the mind, in the imaginations of the listening audience.
“Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles” is one of the most famous and admired detective stories ever written. Published in 1901 and 1902, it originally appeared in nine monthly installments in The Strand magazine.
THE PLOT: Dr. Mortimer (David Tangeman) brings Sir Henry Baskerville (Russ Hutchison) to master sleuth Sherlock Holmes (Philip Grecian) with a tale of a family curse placed upon the Baskerville family. Mortimer tells of a demon hound, which killed Sir Hugo Baskerville on the moors near Baskerville Hall over two centuries before, and has haunted the family, dispensing death, ever since. It’s latest victim: Sir Charles Baskerville, found late one night at the edge of the moor surrounded by the footprints of the gigantic hound. Indeed, witnesses have begun to see the beast of legend, “A foul thing, a great, black beast, shaped like a hound, yet larger than any hound that ever mortal eye has rested upon.”
Holmes sends Dr. Watson with Baskerville and Mortimer to Baskerville Hall. The hulking black manor and the Neolithic ruins on the moor provide a Gothic atmosphere as Holmes and Watson encounter the family retainer, Barrymore (Jim Claussen), and his wife (Karen Hastings), who have a terrible secret; Alfred Frankland (Tangeman), who watches the moors with a telescope, and has made some startling discoveries; and Jack Stapleton (Claussen) and his sister Beryl (Melissa Boyer) who seem to know more than they will say.
As the howl of the spectral hound is carried across the Great Grimpen Mire on the chilly wind, Holmes sets out to solve a mystery and end a curse.