Elementary, My Dear Fellow

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
Elementary, My Dear Fellow (2016)

Elementary, My Dear Fellow is a reading play in one-act written by Shera Cohen, performed at The Mark Twain House Museum (Hartford, CT, USA) on 11 february 2016, starring Tim O'Brien as Arthur Conan Doyle.


  • William Gillette : Martin Shell
  • Charles Frohman : Frank Aronson
  • Helen Nichols : Jarice Hanson
  • Yukitaka Osaki : Luis Manzi
  • Arthur Conan Doyle : Tim O'Brien
  • Woman : Kristen Anne Ferraro
  • Man : Keith Purcell
  • Narrator : Julie Waggoner


  • Playwright : Shera Cohen
  • Stage Manager : Julie Waggoner

Plot summary

The play tells the story of William Gillette, renowned actor/playwright/inventor, Hartford born and bred who have impersonated Sherlock Holmes on stage and cinema. In 1896, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle literally handed his celebrated books to this constantly employed yet rarely satisfied American actor, telling Gillette to do whatever he pleased with Sherlock as he was tired and bored with the detective. This was the impetus to Gillette's famous and long career. Gillette not only molded the Holmes' stories into plays and wrote many of his own creation, it was Gillette who dressed Holmes in what has now become the character's instantly recognizable image. However, William Gillette was far more than Sherlock Holmes. Admittedly, even Gillette often entangled the two – man and character – through much of his later career and life. The play is William Gillette's journey onto the stage, the people who helped him, his joys and tragedies. It may not be surprising that Gillette was a rather quirky, sometimes naïve, and enigmatic man... certainly, a man worthy of meeting. - Shera Cohen