Maggie McKay Reviews 'Mysterious Circumstances' at the Geffen Playhouse

June 21, 2019

Whether you are a fan of Sherlock Holmes stories or not this new play at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood will leave you thinking ....whaaaaat? Making its world premiere at the Gil Cates Theater, it was written by Michael Mitnick and directed by Matt Shakman. Mysterious Circumstances was inspired by the New Yorker article "Mysterious Circumstances: The Strange Death of a Sherlock Holmes Fanatic" by David Grann. Mitnick was actually raised by a Conan Doyle aficionado so he was all in from the get-go.

It is actually based on a true story which makes it even more delicious. A man named Richard Lancelyn Green was the world's top scholar on Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  When Green is found dead in his London apartment, there are more questions than answers.  There are several suspects and motives but in the end, it's not as clear cut as it may appear. The actors are so talented and convincing, most playing more than one character.

This is not just about a fanatic but also about what drives us and sends someone over the edge to obsession.


Available in person at the Geffen Playhouse box office, by phone at 310.208.5454 or online at