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Interview with Jimmy Cliff (Mycroft Holmes)

Introduce yourself. Who are you and who do you play?

I am Jimmy Cliff. I play Mycroft Holmes. Originally born in Hull, Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Grew up in New York and moved around a lot until I got to Washington. Never cared for acting until high school, where, on a lark, I found out I had a “gift,” as they say. Right now I am studying to be a teacher.

What was your introduction to Sherlock Holmes?

First introduction to Sherlock Holmes was “Sherlock Pink” as a child. I only thought he was a TV or movie character, so when I saw Robert Downey Jr. punch people on the big screen, I knew I could get behind it.

What was something that you found interesting about Miss Holmes?

The thing I find most interesting about this production is the era that the story takes place. Such an interesting time in history. The second Anglo-Afghan war just finished, industrialization was in its infancy, and Jack the Ripper had not terrorized the streets of Whitechapel yet. Not only that, but with Sherlock being a woman, it changes the dynamics of Sir Conan Doyle’s characters.

What is something that you’re looking forward to?

I am looking forward to continuing my involvement in the show. Which is only possible because of Petra reaching out to me to join the cast, saying “Judging by your resume, we were destined to collaborate eventually.” So I would like to dedicate this performance to her and those who knew her better and longer than I have. She is gone but not forgotten.

What was your biggest challenge working on Miss Holmes (besides COVID-19)?

The biggest challenge for me would be not going full-blown “method.” My friends always called me “the Ghetto Brando.” I learned how to sharpen my accent more because I am a blue collar guy at heart and am very earthy.

What do you want the audience to get out of this production?

I think the audience should look for the hard work and care we as a cast and crew have put into this because this has been in the works since January. So I hope people enjoy it more than anything.

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