The cast of <em>The Game’s Afoot</em>. front, from left: Madison Duree, Benjamin Offringa, and Nancy Nufer; standing: Brian Harwell and Sean Jackson
Courtesy Photo

When Ken Ludwig’s play The Game’s Afoot premiered in 2011, critics hailed it as “an inspired whodunit … a snappy, clever drawing-room mystery,” “a fantastically fun night out at the theater,” and “a wild and funny ride.” Since then, the Edgar Allan Poe Award winner for best play of 2012 has been performed on stages throughout the country. This October, Santa Barbarans can see the acclaimed farce courtesy of the SBCC theater Theatre Arts Department.

Inspired by William Gillette (1853-1937) — a real-life actor who played Sherlock Holmes onstage more than 1,000 times over 30 years and helped create the popular image of the deerstalker-cap-wearing, curved-pipe-smoking detective — the play takes audiences to Gillette’s Connecticut castle in December 1936. The Broadway star has invited his castmates to his home for the weekend; it’s a lovely time for all until one of the guests turns up dead. It’s up to Gillette to assume his Holmes stage persona and solve the mystery, which offers up ribald humor and gasp-producing twists.

Directed by Katie Laris, the play stars Madison Duree, Brian Harwell, Leslie Gangl Howe, Sean Jackson, Nancy Nufer, Benjamin Offringa, Jenna Scanlon, and Leslie Ann Story. Performances are Friday, October 12-Saturday, October 27, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, at SBCC’s Garvin Theatre (900 block of Cliff Dr.). Call (805) 965-5935 or see


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