Doug Fabrizio on playing Sherlock Holmes in RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE

Doug Fabrizio

Doug Fabrizio is best known as the host of KUER’s RadioWest. He has previously appeared in three episodes of Plan-B Theatre Company’s RADIO HOUR: THE HITCHHIKER & ZERO HOUR, LAVENDER & EXILE and FRANKENSTEIN. he has also appeared in Plan-B’s Script-In-Hand Series readings of THE NORMAL HEART and STANDING ON CEREMONY: THE GAY MARRIAGE PLAYS and 8 (as a voice over) and hosted AND THE BANNED PLAYED ON several times, including a few with Bill Allred.

As far as I can tell Sherlock Holmes is afraid of only one thing – boredom.  I think this explains the cocaine.  The drug seems to show up in stories when he’s in between cases and trying to fight off lethargy.  So, when he finds a mystery to solve, even one as frivolous as why a precious jewel has ended up in the gullet of a Christmas goose, he jumps for joy and then jumps in.

It’s been fun getting to know Sherlock for the Radio Hour but it’s also been something of a challenge.  Conan Doyle describes him as ‘the most perfect reasoning and observing machine that the world has seen.’  But those who played the role well have understood that while he pays scrupulous attention to details, he isn’t so good with people.  He doesn’t have much of a filter or any real social skills.  One description I read said there was something slightly inhuman about Holmes.  So I think to get him right, you have to be completely present and aware of the world around you while being slightly detached from the people inside.

You also have to stay one step ahead of the audience.  That’s what the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch says anyway.  Cumberbatch plays Holmes for the terrific BBC television series.  He said he got a charge from playing him ‘because of the volume of the words in your head and the speed of thought – you really have to make your connections incredibly fast.’

Someone asked me if I liked Sherlock Holmes, not as a detective, but as a person.  I think I do, but I’m not sure it matters all that much.  The New York Times critic Charles McGrath called him ‘languid, aloof, arrogant, supercilious’ – not to mention ‘almost certainly a virgin.’  Now, throw in the cocaine addiction and who cares whether he’s likable, he’s interesting as hell.

I feel the same way about this role as Sherlock does finding a case to solve – ready to jump in and excited to see what happens. Playing a part like this is completely different from doing my show. It’s nice to hide behind a role for a change. In fact if I sound anything like Doug Fabrizio the radio guy, I’ve blown it.

Matthew Ivan Bennett’s RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE, featuring Bill Allred, Doug Fabrizio, Jay Perry & Jason Tatom and directed by Cheryl Cluff, opens Plan-B’s 2012/13 season on December 18 – click here for details, single tickets and subscription information!

Bill Allred's dream of being a radio actor is (sort of) fulfilled in RADIO HOUR EPISODE 7: SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE BLUE CARBUNCLE
Jason Tatom on being the RADIO HOUR newbie

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