Ken Ludwig's Comedic Take on Sherlock Holmes
More than a century after he first appeared in print, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes continues to fascinate us with different approaches to the great detective appearing on television and in the movies. Now Tony-award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig stages his comedic take on Sherlock Holmes at The Cleveland Play House with Baskerville onstage through February 12th.
Ludwig is amazed by the character's enduring appeal.
"We love him, we want to protect him because he's in danger, he lives a dangerous life with his drug problem and then putting himself in physical danger and solving problems. He's one of the few characters in all of literary history that I can think of that we just resonate with almost immediately."
While Sherlock Holmes often is portrayed in a serious manner, Ludwig takes a funny look at this character in his adaptation of the great novella - The Hound of The Baskervilles. He believes there's a direct connection between the two genres of comedy and mystery.
"They [both] play by very specific rules, like jigsaw puzzle pieces locking into place. I think that's what's common to the two genres. When comedy works right everything works out in the end...I think most mysteries are comedies at heart."
For this production, Ludwig returns to a stage he's been familiar with for more than a decade - The Cleveland Play House - which for him is quite a relief.
"You finish a play and what you have to do is you have to hear it out loud. I've been very lucky with the Cleveland Play House because they've been kind enough to take an interest in my work that's been consistent ... I've been able to say, 'ooh I do have a new piece. Can we hear it and see what it's like and maybe give it a first run?"