Blood Moon: Or, The Adventure of the Abducted Sorceress

by David Poyer
  • 90 Minutes
  • 7M, 6F, Max 14, Min 7


The year is 1885. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson are chatting in the parlor at 221B Baker Street when a strangely attired group of individuals enter, pleading for help. They say they’re from a traveling bazaar of magic and someone has kidnapped their impresario, Madame Vera.


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  • Multi-Copy PDF 127.00 Printable PDF for Cast/Crew
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Performance Fee $80.00 A Production License Fee Per Performance (mandatory for all performances)

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Play Details


As Holmes and Watson investigate, they penetrate deep into a shadowy world of magic, mediumship, and betrayal. Holmes builds chains of speculation and logic, attempting to guess who might benefit from the kidnapping, while Watson tracks down the few concrete clues that might lead them to whoever abducted Vera. They also involve the discredited and notorious medium and Theosophist Helena Blavatsky, then resident in London. Throughout, Holmes stubbornly denies the possibility of any supernatural aspect to the case, while Watson grows less certain that can be true, given what he is finding out.

After following and discarding several false leads, eventually Holmes’s cogitation, Watson’s researches, and Blavatsky’s advice lead them to a shadowy cabal of antimagic called Sursum Corda, founded by a renegade monk centuries ago.

But their time has run out. Vera will be murdered that very night, as a Blood Moon rises over London, by a wealthy and obsessed Hungarian. Imperial Count Ladomer Breuner-Szécsényi is determined to destroy the Night Bazaar forever by a spectacular immolation of the sorceress who directs it. In the final scene, Holmes and Watson must act swiftly to foil the plot, and rescue Vera before she is burned at midnight as a witch in full view of all East London.

The theme is rationalism and logic (embodied by Holmes and the Count) versus the possibility “something” lies beyond what we can know (Helena Blavatsky, Dr. Dee, Madame Vera). Watson wavers between the two beliefs throughout the play. Vera escapes in the last act, though not through the actions of her would-be rescuers, but Watson confesses that ever since he has been unsure what is real and what is not.

The settings are envisioned as a central stage with a Victorian parlour and side setups
with minimal furniture. The “magic” in the play is easily produced with commercially available tricks and stagecraft, if that is the way the director wants to go.

A two-act Sherlock Holmes play with supernatural overtones, set circa 1885. Holmes and Watson must unravel a mystery to solve the kidnapping of a beautiful but apparently immortal woman. Madam Vera Fortunato is the impresario of a traveling carnival of the occult called the Night Bazaar. Holmes, assisted by Watson and the notorious medium Helena Blavatsky, pursues and discards several false leads before finally uncovering the actual plot and its aristocratic instigator.

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