J. Todd Adams (Sherlock Holmes) and Roderick Peeples (Professor Moriarty)
The summer season is finished, temperatures are a bit cooler, and the leaves are just starting to turn. With fences lining the perimeter of what will become the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Center for the Arts, everyone is a buzz with excitement as buildings are being torn down to make way for new state of the art facilities.
Adding to the excitement is the anticipation of our fall season. Along with Twelfth Night, we’ll open two new shows Boeing Boeing and Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure. We met with J. Todd Adams and Roderick Peeples outside the Hunter Conference Center to chat about the iconic Sherlock Holmes stories.
J. Todd was last here almost twenty years ago. He is excited to be back! Roderick first appeared here in 2009 and for this season, appeared in The Comedy of Errors and is in Twelfth Night as well.
Tell us a bit about the play.
Roderick: The play (written in 1899 by Doyle and Gillette and adapted by Steven Deitz in 2006) is based on two stories: Scandal in Bohemia and The Final Problem.
What are your thoughts about playing these characters?
J.Todd: When Holmes doesn’t have a problem to solve, he’s going crazy. He has these very addictive characteristics – chain smoking, shooting up cocaine (legal in those days). It’s interesting because it shows the mania that’s driving him. The quirks of his character and his nature are what help him be so great at solving the mysteries.
Roderick: It’s really fun for me. I don’t often get to play arch-villains. Moriarty is challenging because all you have to do is mention “Moriarty” and people go “oh…”. Everyone has an image of him.
Part of the challenge is trying to make him real: An actual human being with goals that are currently being thwarted by Holmes. Moriarty doesn’t want to be seen. He’s been successful by having this web of operatives that do his work for him. So no one ever deals with him directly. But Sherlock has gotten under his skin and caused so many problems that he’s forced to surface and deal with Sherlock directly. It becomes a personal thing.
J. Todd: I think Sherlock can’t help himself. He wants to face Moriarty and bring him down himself. They both realize they’ve met their match in each other. They both have a great deal of admiration for each other.
Roderick: It’s that passion on both sides that is their mutual undoing.
What are your thoughts about the Festival?
J. Todd: I came here when I was in high school. I’ve seen it grow. It seems busier now. I loved it when I was younger. It was a dream to get to work here. I’m thrilled to be back.
Roderick: I’ve done work at a lot of festivals around the country and you can really see why this one is king. I love it here. When I was in school at University of Texas, Austin, my mentor was Michael Finlayson, who directed many plays here in the early days. I asked him “Michael, what do you think the chances are of my getting work at the Festival?” He looked at me and said “One day Rick, one day.” It took many years, and I finally made it here in 2009.
You can learn more information about the play at http://www.bard.org/plays/sherlock2014.html
Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure opens September 18 in preview and runs through October 18. You can buy tickets at www.bard.org or by calling 800-PLAYTIX.
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