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Years after the Ripper murders, another set of terrible killings take place on the streets of London to once again bring our famous detective duo out from their flat at 221b Baker Street to solve “Who Dun It”.

This time the murders are of the kind that Sherlock and Watson have never seen before.

“Edward Hyde” is prowling the streets of Westminster, Sherlock believes that the reputable Doctor Jekyll is involved, but what is the connection? And how to prove it!

And who is the mysterious Dr Diana Windsor, and what is her involvement with these heinous crimes?

That is the dilemma that that faces our illustrious sleuths.

So travel back in time to Victorian London, Where a Typhoid outbreak was occurring and Murder, Prostitution and Robbery was commonplace. Life was cheap and the women were cheaper.

The police’s resources were stretched to the limit and the peelers were at a loss to where to turn next, with no clues of who the killer was, or where he would strike next!

But with the possibility of another “Reign of Terror, It was time to once again call on Sherlock Holmes to solve “The Murders of The Devil’s Acre”

Now The Games Afoot ! So light up your pipe, put on your Deerstalkers Hat and join our dynamic duo in the world Premiere of “The Devils Acre - A Sherlock Holmes / Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Murder Mystery”.

With Musical interludes and original songs this new Sherlock Holmes thriller is bound to entice your creative detective juices and bring you to the only conclusion.

That is when you eliminate the impossible whatever remains, however improbable must be the Truth   - IT”S ELEMENTARY !

*Inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson

  • The Devil's Acre - Westminster: 1872
    The Devil's Acre, a slum next to Westminster Abbey London. John Hollingshead described visiting the slum in 1861: 'Enter a narrow street called St. Anne's Lane, glance up at a fearful side-court called St. Anne's Place and wonder whether such filth and squalor can ever be exceeded. I went up the last-mentioned court, which had every feature of a sewer, and found a long puddle of sewage soaking in the hollow centre. The passages of the low black huts on either side were like old sooty chimneys, and the inhabitants were buried out of sight in the gloom'
  • A sequel to our hugely successful 2013 show, Jack the Ripper.
  • John Martin and Paul Trueack reprise their roles as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor John Watson respectively.
  • Music and lyrics to the song "Better Man" were written by Paul Danger McLean who plays the character of Jekyll/Hyde.
Paul Danger McLean - Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde
John Martin - Sherlock Holmes
Paul Trueack - Doctor John Watson
Deirdre Quinn - Mrs Hudson
Rachel Blundey - Dr Diana Windsor
Brady Gambling - Toff/Constable O'Reilly/Drunk
Aden Quinn - Charlie/Boy at Bar
Sue Oldknow - Fanny/Nancy
Shelley Pontiac - Annie
Suzi Cherry - Mabel
John Martin – Director and Playwright
Brady Gambling – Assistant Director
Samara Jaensch – Stage Manager
David D’Angelo – Musical Director
Daniel Thistlewaite – Violin
Violet Rowe – Wardrobe and Props
Caetlyn McLean – Sound Technician, Photography and Video
Paul Danger McLean – Sound Advisor
Mon Cochrane – Lighting Design/Technician
Sue Oldknow – Choreography
Jamie Jaensch – Backstage


Review of “The Devils Acre”. Irish Club Adelaide11 March 2017

As reviews go this has to be a rarity. I had travelled thousands of miles from Ireland on a holiday and I had not written a theatrical review for quite a while in my fairly long life. However in the absence of the regular reviewer, I gamely offered to commit my thoughts on the evening's production to paper. So Help Me God, this is not an easy task. I tossed and turned, hummed and hawed, hesitated and avoided. Finally when I thought I had put enough distance between myself and the event to be completely objective I took the plunge and formed some opinions which you will forthwith be party to.

I had never seen the Upstage Theatre Group in action before but my fellow theatre goers on the night assured me that these were a dedicated, motivated, talented and tight knit company who packed a punch with their performances and who could sing, dance and act their way across many genres. So without more ado I set aside any thoughts of attempting to rival the jaded and cynical style of a latter day Molly Parker and instead opened my mind wide to the entertainment that awaited me.

I knew that Scriptwriter and Director John Martin takes his craft seriously so I was slightly nervous at the outset on behalf of the cast as I watched the tables fill with happy punters replete with food and drink sufficient for a Bunratty Banquet. As the stage was only slightly elevated and not at great remove from the actors I did worry about sound effects from the audience being a distraction. I need not have feared. I had been remiss in my delectation of the detail of the programme and I didn't realise that I was to have all my senses tickled by the experience-by that I mean my musical, visual, intellectual and comedic senses. But I advance too quickly.

And so the story begins.. The scene is set cleverly and economically for us by the commanding tones of the unseen Dr Watson as Narrator. We are quickly transported to Victorian London in the aftermath of the Ripper Murders and the Capital is still reeling in shock. The young ladies of the night from whose midst the Ripper snatched his prey are still plying their trade but with intense fear. Their fears are not unfounded as yet another heinous crime takes place onstage. The intrepid Sherlock (John Martin) and his trusted sidekick Dr Watson (Paul Trueack) start to ponder on the recent villainy and they find much to puzzle them.

At this juncture I realised this was not to be a serious whodunnit as the East End Girls demonstrated their feelings about the monster prowling the area in song and dance. They become the "Greek Chorus" who very effectively inform us of events throughout the play and move things along at a great pace. The dramatic construction showcased the all round abilities of the cast and the constant deployment of straight acting lightened by song and dance and the irresistibly funny Mrs Hudson( perfectly played by Deirdre Quinn) created a very satisfying piece of entertainment.

While it seems unfair to single out individuals from an entity that works together so well It would be remiss not to mention the wonderful Aden Quinn whose powerful singing voice and excellent stage presence made compelling viewing.

I was intrigued to find out how Dr Jekyll would meld into the storyline but it worked well as long as the audience was familiar with that particular story.

Paul McLean as Jekyll produced the required balance of menace, madness and sanity, and I loved the offstage werewolf sounds. All praise to the lighting and sound technicians for a very successful evening's work. Here I must add praise for the excellent choreographers and the musicians who provided the backing to much of the evening's entertainment. A prodigious feat to have pulled off.

It is impossible to single out everyone involved in the production. Whether it was intended as pastiche, parody or pure send up is irrelevant when you have been party to such a rollicking fast paced story, well acted and set to music to boot.

I need not have worried about the audience as not a rustle could be heard during the show. The applause at the end indicated a happy bunch of people who had a good night out and got their money's worth. I think old Will Shakespeare had this in mind when he set up the Globe Theatre.

John Martin has much to be proud of in his creation and he is additionally blessed in having a talented and dedicated group of Actors, Musicians and Technicians to breathe life into it.

Nuala Flanagan
The Devil’s Acre
Upstage Theatre with the Noarlunga Theatre Company Inc.
Reviewed by Richard Lane

Playwright, director and actor John Martin has written a pseudo-Gothic “Sherlock Holmes/ Doctor Watson meet Jekyll and Hyde.” It is set in 19th Century London, home of depraved and sordid characters inhabiting London’s East End.

The plot is simple – the search by Holmes and Watson for a “monster” who is mutilating and murdering the citizens of Devil’s Acre on the streets.

The production is setup as a sound stage with several microphones regrettably casting shadows and obstructing the performers from the audience.

The musical score is by David D’Angelo, who with Paul McLean was the lyricist. The songs were often recitative but generally worked well with some lively numbers and witty lyrics.

Performances on the night were a little uneven but honours for the evening must go to the three “ladies of the night” – Suzie Cherry as Annie, Shelly Pontiac as Mabel and the experienced Sue Oldknow as Fanny Adams/ Nancy. Mention should also be made of the 16-year-old Aden Quinn as Charlie. This young man has a strong well-articulated singing voice and a commanding stage presence. A cheeky performance as the “naughty young man.”

John Martin and Paul Truck as Sherlock Holmes and Watson respectively, worked together throughout and were most convincing in their roles.

Rachel Blunder as Diana Windsor sang well, as did Paul McLean as Jekyll/ Hyde. Deirdre Quinn as Holmes’ landlady, the bossy, quaint Mrs Hudson played her role with energy and conviction.

Brady Gambling as a Toff/ Constable O’Reilly/ Drunk Sailor, played his role with energy. All-in-all this was a creditable production for the Community based theatre company of the South.

TASA Encore (Theatre Association of South Australia) 20th May 2017.