There’s a mystery afoot at Grey Street United Church.
A cast of approximately 30 will put on a production of Sherlock Holmes and the Spider’s Web, written by parishioner Greg Holowka, at the church from April 18 through 21. The first three shows (April 18 through 20) will be dinner theatre performances beginning at 6:30 p.m. while the finale will be a 2 p.m. dessert theatre matinee.
The famous literary detective is all over the big and small screens these days, with Robert Downey, Jr. playing the role in a current movie series, while there are television adaptations Sherlock and Elementary.
Holowka, who has written approximately a dozen plays for this event, riffing on genres from horror to pirate tales, enjoyed the opportunity to work with such a well-known character.
"A mysterious figure known as the Spider is planning to overthrow the British government," said Holowka, whose wife Deborah is co-director with Sandra Tease, and whose son Alec wrote the music and will be playing the score. "Sherlock Holmes is working to stop it.
"I tried to put in all the iconic characters – Irene Adler is in it, too."
The dinner aspect of the dinner theatre will feature a buffet organized by dinner co-ordinator Luane Campbell with the help of numerous volunteers. The buffet will feature roast beef, turkey and gravy, potatoes, perogies, a bean salad, slaw, peas and carrots. There will also be trifle served for dessert.
"We try to base it (the menu) loosely on what the show is," said Campbell.
Between the cast and crew, approximately 80 volunteers help to keep the production going.
The production features actors of a wide age range from 12 to 85, though the core group has been together for several years.
"The actors have been together for a fair bit," said Holowka. "They’re getting more professional just because they’ve been through it a few times."
Contact the church, located at 651 Sandhurst Ave., at 204-667-9413 for tickets. The production is the church’s major annual fundraiser, with proceeds going to help balance its budget.
Tickets for the dinner performances are $35 (with a $17.50 tax receipt) for a regular ticket, or $40 (with a $20 tax receipt) for priority seating. The matinee performance is $12 for adults, $6 for children 12 and under, or $25 for a family.