Blue Orange Arts presents –

A DOUBLE BILL of Locked Room Mysteries

Sherlock Holmes: The Speckled Band

Adapted and Written by James Nicholas

“Oh my God. It was the band. The speckled band!”

A dying woman’s mysterious last words and a plea for help from her sister, lead Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to a crumbling country house. How did a young woman die there with no obvious cause of death, and why does her sister believe she will be next? With a seemingly locked room mystery on his hands, Holmes must solve one of the darkest and most baffling cases of his career. Adapted from the short story by Arthur Conan Doyle this is Sherlock Holmes at his finest!


in Alphabetical order

Darren – Dr Watson/Dr Grimesby Roylott

James – Sherlock Holmes

Darren Haywood

Darren trained at the Academy of Musical Theatre Wales.

Most recently for Blue Orange Arts he appeared in “The 39 Steps” and “The Mystery of Irma Vep”. Also for the Blue Orange he played Paul Sheldon in a UK tour of Stephen King’s “Misery”, Geppetto in “Pinocchio”, Ko-Ko in “The Mikado”, King Shahriar in “Arabian Nights”, Salty in “Teachers”, and Lysander/Quince in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Other credits include Hedwig in “Hedwig and The Angry Inch”, Lord High Underling in Birmingham Rep’s revival of “The Wiz”, “Fred Barnes in “Back To Backs” (Women & Theatre), “The Lasting Sense Of Sudden” (Dublin), “Innit The Musical” at The Lowry, Manchester, and the sell-out tour of “Doreen” (plus the accompanying movie). He originated the part of Ardan in “Celt” at Theatre Brycieniog, Brecon (including the cast recording), and also provided the voice of Hattie Jacques in an animated version of the Carry On films.

Darren is looking forward to returning to roles in “The Murder in the Rue Morgue” and “The Speckled Band” having completed a successful run of them both, along with “Can’t Stop Carrying On” at the Edinburgh fringe, all produced by Blue Orange Arts.

He also appears in panto every year.

James Nicholas

Recent theatre roles include Sherlock Holmes in ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and ‘A Study in Scarlet’, ‘Wind in the Willows’,  ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘Wizard of Oz’, ‘The 39 Steps’, ‘Frankenstein’, ‘Dr Faustus’ and ‘Edward II’ (all Blue Orange Arts, Birmingham);  ‘18 Victoria’ (Root & Branch/Lawrence Batley/Square Chapel/GM Fringe – Winner Best New Play), ‘Please Stop the Dark’ and ‘The Order of Disorder’ (LouDeemy Productions); ‘Uncle Richard’ (TellTale Presents); ‘Cinderella’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Aladdin’ (Panto Ever After/Viaduct Theatre, Halifax);  and A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Workshop Theatre, Leeds). James played Trevor in the feature film ‘Happy Little Bunnies’ (Rotten Park Road Films) and was nominated for Best Supporting Performance for ‘Frankenstein’ at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2019. Most recently James has been seen as Israel Hands in the continuing web series, ‘I Hands: A Life Less Lived’  and ‘Hands on Film’.


Adapted and Written by – James Nicholas

Directed by – Oliver Hume

Produced by – Mark Webster

Production Assistant – Michael Harris

Lighting/Sound by – Nathan Bower

Costumes/Props by – Simon Ravenhill/Haina Al-Saud/Nasrin Khanjari

Set by – Mark Webster/Ben Mills-Wood