The Red Circle is Sherlock's home in Washington DC. Now in our seventh decade, we continue to celebrate his immortality and enjoy each other's company.
All are welcome to join us and share our interest in all things Sherlockian and Doylean.

Next Meeting

Friday, September 25, 2015
Hyatt Regency Bethesda
7400 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD
Drinks at 6:00 -- Dinner at 7:00
Guest Speakers
Robert S. Katz and Andrew Solberg
"Of Morley and Manuscripts"




The Red Circle will present the Washington Metro Area theatrical premiere of Sherlock Holmes, starring William Gillette at a single screening at 10 am on Saturday morning, September 26. We'll gather at the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema at 7235 Woodmont Avenue in the heart of Bethesda, Maryland. Note that this is the morning after the Red Circle's dinner meeting on the evening of September 25, and discount hotel rooms are available at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda for out-of-towners wishing to stay the night. The theatre is just a short walk from the hotel. It's a great opportunity to see this restored classic on the big screen. All seats are reserved and tickets will be snapped up quickly, so get yours now right here or at the Bethesda Row Cinema box office. A detailed information sheet and a larger version of our poster are available here.

Meeting Notes 
from the Red Circle's June 26 dinner meeting are available

An Actor of Many Colors  For those who may need a Benedict Cumberbatch encounter before the next Sherlock film airs, we draw your attention to the Benedict Cumberbatch Unofficial Colouring Book, part of a series called "Colour Me Good." Grammatical problems aside, it may be just the thing to keep the BBC's star detective top-of-mind during the long hiatus between his Sherlockian turns. The book is available widely, including at amazon, where both new and used copies are offered. That said, your webmaster is constrained to point out that purchasing a used copy of a coloring book might be imprudent.  

A Sherlockian Strip Search   Washington's Evil League of Ecdysiasts will present "The Adventure of the Black Cat," billed as the great detective's most titillating case, on Friday evening, August 7. It all comes off at the Black Cat, 1811 14th Street, NW, with doors opening at 9:00.  It may be an opportunity to decide whether naked really is the best disguise. Note that this is the evening before Gridlock DC (see below and calendar at right), quite convenient for out-of-town Sherlockians who might be in the mood for a doubleheader. Ticket information is here.

Seeing Red: An Elementary Omission   On June 12 the Washington Post published a review of a new book by art critic Jacky Colliss Harvey entitled Red: A History of the Redhead. The book traces red hair throughout the ages and across multiple disciplines, including science, religion, politics, feminism and sexuality, literature, and art. But alert Red Circle member George Spencer noticed that there was no mention of a certain Mr. Jabez Wilson and his fellow applicants to The Red-Headed League. George's letter to the Post was published on June 26. It reads, "The June 14 Book World review of Red: A History of the Redhead by Jacky Colliss Harvey, had many interesting tidbits, but it lacked a reference to the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Red-Headed League," published in 1891. The fact that one of the stories was so titled shows that late-19th-century Londoners were aware that redheads were something out of the ordinary." Good catch George! And if you'd like to read Ms. Harvey's review, you can find it here

The Silver Blaze: Sherlockians Cash In on a Breeder Named Watson  Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course played host to 29 Sherlockians attending the revival of the Silver Blaze (Southern Division) on  May 23. This 29th running and the first since 1998 brought with it a beautiful day. Attendees from a half dozen regional Sherlockian societies dined on crab cake sandwiches and scoured the Racing Form for Sherlockian clues to help them pick winners. The Silver Blaze was a mile and a sixteenth run on the turf track, and many put their money on horse number 6, I'm Da Big Man, whose breeder's last name is Watson. And a wise choice it was, because he won the race handily! The winner's trophy was presented by Joann Dobry, the lady who made the longest trip to join the fun. Afterward, many in the group repaired to the nearby Mount Washington Tavern to squander their winnings on dinner and continue their conversations and merriment. Organizer Greg Ruby tells us that plans are already underway for the 30th running at Pimlico on Saturday, May 14, 2016.

Mr. Holmes now playing The much-anticipated film Mr. Holmes, starring the legendary Sir Ian McKellen and 3-time Oscar nominee Laura Linney, opened on July 17 at the Landmark E-Street Cinema and the Georgetown 14 in Washington, the AMC Loews Shirlington 7 in Virginia, and  at other theatres across the region and the country. It's an interesting take on an aging Holmes, who must come to grips with the diminishing powers of his great mind. You're invited to watch the trailer here.

Gridlock DC 2015 builds on inaugural success, adds a second day. Gridlock DC will be expanded to a two-day event, on August 8-9, at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda.  Last year's convention was a one-day affair in Alexandria, with an impressive 195 people on hand for the festivities.  Some of the conventioneers were old Sherlockian hands, but the vast majority were young, and fans of film and television, some of them in costume, and everyone enjoyed the event. You can see more details and register at their website here

Getting "the dirt" on criminals  Many Red Circle members remember that four years ago FBI forensic geologist Maureen Bottrell joined us to share the ways in which modern crime solvers follow "in the footprints" of Sherlock Holmes by analyzing soil, rock and other geological clues. Now comes a new article in the journal Nature which details the adventures of one of Maureen's colleagues, Lorna Dawson, as geologists do more than scratch the surface in pursuit of evildoers. It's a fun read online here, with a pdf version also available here.

The original BBC Sherlock is back  is the delightful slogan devised by the British Film Institute for its new four-DVD set with all of the Douglas Wilmer television shows from 1964 and 1965, and his fans will welcome the chance to see the series again. Two of the shows have been reconstructed, since only some of the original footage has survived, and there are some nice added features. The set costs £39.99 at the BFI website  (it's less expensive, of course, at Amazon). Unfortunately, the set is region-2 only, and it's unlikely that there will be a region-1 or multi-region version, but there are convenient programs that will allow you to play region-2 DVDs on your computers.  Douglas Wilmer is alive and well, at 95 years old, and had a cameo role as a disgruntled member of the Diogenes Club in an episode of the BBC's Sherlock series.

  • Scuttlebutt: One Fixed Point in a Changing Age  Our own Peter Blau's monthly Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press has endured for more than four decades, and has a permanent home right here on our website. It's the most remarkable collection of Sherlockian news and notes anywhere, and your webmaster recommends a monthly visit. The very latest edition is available now, as are past numbers. It's just a click away--use the "Scuttlebutt" button at the top of the page.
    • Be an Inner Circle Contributor We welcome submissions from all quarters for this page. Please direct materials to the webmaster, alan@redcircledc.org
    • For earlier, archived items from The Inner Circle, click here.