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The Misadventure of the Impossible Magician

By Vince Stadon

"I am Charles Ignatius, 'The Impossible Magician', and I can cheat death itself!"

Spring 1895. At the Crowborough Theatre, in the heart of London's West End, the curtain falls for the final time on Charles Ignatius, the so-called Impossible Magician. Has he been murdered? Is it all part of some grand theatrical illusion? Mr Sherlock Holmes takes centre stage and discovers that all is not merely smoke and mirrors, and Dr Watson uncovers a sting in the tale.

Click image to download  (Duration:  32' 50" / Size:  30.0 MB)


 Major References: “A Study in Scarlet”

 Placement : This Misadventure takes place in Spring 1895.  In “the Canon”, this places it between “The Solitary Cyclist” and “Black Peter”.

Of Singular Interest?

*Why was Holmes obsessed with bees?

*Which newspapers were delivered to 221b Baker Street? We know Holmes reads "The Times" (he can even recognise the typeface in "The Hound of the Baskervilles"), presumably he reads all the national  newspapers, scours clippings of local editions, and keeps a keen eye on crimes reported in international papers.

* The Crowborough Theatre is named after the Crowborough Company of the Sixth Royal Sussex Volunteer Regiment (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s regiment), and based on The Place Theatre from the "Doctor Who" story "The Talons of Weng Chiang" (in which the Doctor plays the role of Sherlock Holmes).

  *What were Holmes’s rates as consulting detective?  In "A Study in Scarlet", Watson remarks on his own precarious finances (a war pension of 11/6 a day), and is keen to find someone who will share the rent on rooms in Baker Street.  Holmes seems to be in similarly shaky fiscal position, but soon after moving into Baker Street, he begins to make a name for himself as a consulting detective. Holmes is able to generously pay for information (and keeps a gang of street urchins, "The Baker Street Irregulars" on daily wage of one shilling).  

* Scotland Yard, London Metropolitan Police headquarters, was built in 1829 on the street of that name, near Whitehall.  Inspector Tobias Gregson would likely be stationed there as a serving CID officer.

  * Constable Cribb bears no relation to the wonderful "Cribb" series by Peter  Lovesy.

* The most prominent and succesful stage illusionist working in London in 1895 was John Neville Maskelyne (1839 -1917), friend of Harry Houdini, mentor to David Devant, and part of the Magic Circle.  His biggest rival was the American illusionist Harry Kellar.  "Hiding The Elephant", a fabulous, intricately researched study of stage illusions through the ages by Jim Steinmeyer, is thoroughly recommended reading.


Mr Sherlock Holmes

Dr John H Watson

Charles Ignatius

Alma Hawkins

Inspector Gregson

Seth Hawkins

Mrs Hudson

Newspaper Boy

Constable Cribb



Theme music

Incidental Music

Sound Design

Executive Producer

Executive Producer for Dream Realm Enterprises







Jeff Niles

Elie Hirschman

Capt. John Tadrzak

Lisanne Heyward

Wayne Heyward

Paeter Frandsen

Lisanne Heyward

Kae Woo

Victor Alpha



Alain Morin

Alain Morin


Jeff Niles

Jonithan Patrick Russell