Gallery 7 Theatre

"Fast paced, non-stop action": John Dawson on Sherlock Holmes

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Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery starts March 11 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre.

To get a better sense of the show and what you can expect, we asked our Sherlock Holmes, John Dawson, a bit more about his character and the show!

John Dawson
John Dawson

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience with Gallery 7!

Unlike many of my fellow actors, I am a “late to the party” actor, not auditioning for my first role until I was in my mid-forties. Like many others, I was hooked at that point and have never looked back.

This is my 20th season at Gallery 7 and I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to platy iconic characters, such as Sigmund Freud (Freud’s Last Session), Horace Vandergelder (Matchmaker) and Mr. Bennet (Pride and Prejudice). It has been a wonderful ride so far. In my day job, I work with MCC, assisting people to find their way in the world of work and I am an avid basketball fan, who fulfilled a lifelong dream to see my beloved UNC Tar Heels play in North Carolina.

Sherlock Holmes probably needs no introduction but tell us what it's like playing such an iconic character.

Just a tad intimidating, especially when you see the great actors who have taken on the role, like Benedict Cumberbatch and Robert Downey Jr. to name the more recent ones. The challenge with Holmes is that he is not like most mortals and was probably on the autism scale and some form of savant. So, getting inside someone who wired that way is no easy feat. It helps to have played an historical character like Sigmund Freud in terms of studying the person. While Holmes is not a real person, Conan Doyle has given us lots of information to work with. In the end, I just set aside regard for the mere mortals that cross my path and do what I do best, solve crimes, feelings be damned!

What's going on in Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery? Without giving anything away, what's the mystery?

Sir Charles Baskerville is deemed to have died from natural causes, but was it? His friend has his suspicions. Enter Sherlock Holmes and a whole host of colourful characters. Was there foul play? If so, which of the many characters was it? There are reports of a hound. Could it be the hound of legend? Mayhem ensues as Sherlock seeks to unravel the mystery on the moors of Devonshire.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson
Photo by Dianna Lewis

How have rehearsals been so far?

Tons of work and tons of fun! It’s been two years, so I had forgotten how much effort it takes to pull off a production like this. It is a great group of actors and stage crew that keep the things light. It might surprise people to know that Sherlock gets to observe a lot of what transpires and that keeps me laughing at the tremendous work being done by my fellow cast members They are all brilliant!

Who do you think will love coming out to see Baskerville?

Anyone who loves a good laugh. I mean a really good laugh. It’s a great tonic for anyone who might have experienced some stress in the past two years. Come and let it all out at the theatre!

What can audiences expect when the lights go down?

Fast paced, non-stop action. This play takes the tension filled Hound of the Baskervilles and turns it on its head. Sit back, strap in and enjoy a really fun ride.


Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery runs March 11 - 19 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre!

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