Tonawanda News — Swartz said he made some changes to the plot while trying to stay true to the original. To evoke the wide spaces and atmosphere of Dartmoor on the Ghostlight stage, he said, they use open space and a wash of gray light.
“Legends are scary stuff. Even when, in the light of day, you laugh at it ... at night, when you’re out there, anything’s possible,” he said. “All the fun of the novel takes place out on the moor. That’s one thing for sure we had to have. And that was a challenge. I’m satisfied with what we came up with; hopefully the audience will be too.”
In addition to writing and directing the show, Swartz himself will portray the famous detective, joined by a cast that includes Chris Fire as Dr. Watson and Daniel Arrasjid as Jack Stapleton. This marks the third winter in a row Fire and Arrasjid have wound up playing opposite each other on the stage, with Fire as Victor Frankenstein in 2012’s “Frankenstein” and Arrasjid as the creature, and Fire as Jim Hawkins in 2013’s “Treasure Island” and Arrasjid as Long John Silver.
“It’s so fun to be up there with them,” Swartz said. “That’s their favorite, the winter classic; they just come alive.”
Arrasjid said he’s been a big fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels for years, “voraciously” reading them as a child and watching the televised British version of the 1980s, as well as newer versions. He said that Swartz always finds a way to adapt the material in a way that plays with the preconceived notions an audience brings to the show.
“There are some interesting aspects, but again, you have to come to see it,” he said. “The script, the material that Don presents to you is so rich that from an actor’s perspective it give you a lot that you can then dig into.”