Friday 4 June 2010


To Newton House, Llandeilo, on Thursday night to see "Sherlock Holmes and the Wicked Women" created and performed brilliantly by local drama students. On arrival we mingle with the cast in role and I find myself in discussion variously with Dr Watson, sultry women of the night, and some early suffragettes who berate me for not giving them the vote. By the end of the evening I am not sure they should have it as the performance consists of a parade of murderesses, gold-diggers, lady bigamists, and other assorted female felons who portray womankind as scheming and violent but ultimately weak-willed and unable to take the heat: this makes for an accurate parody of Victorian prejudice - or I should say some Victorian men's prejudice having recently read this biography of John Stuart Mill - a bit of a bore to be honest but with an honourable role in advancing women's rights. The men in the play don't come off that well either, comprising blackmailers, arch-snobs and sadistic bullies plus the usual gormless Watson and a convincingly lean, cocaine-dependent Holmes with implausible powers of deduction.