Play reading of The 39 Steps promises to be a real hoot at the Roxy

September 9, 2016

A pre-WW2 spy thriller, a chase all the way to Scotland, a home-town hero, beautiful but mysterious women, suspicious strangers, and an evil master-mind, all are to be found in ‘The 39 Steps’.

‘The 39 Steps’ is a melodrama adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. Patrick Barlow rewrote this adaptation in 2005 intending it for a small cast and with lots of clowning to be a feature of the play.

The play’s concept calls for the entire 1935 adventure film The 39 Steps to be performed with just a few props and with many scene changes. One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, who after being mistakenly accused of the murder of a mysterious counter-espionage female agent, goes on the run to Scotland, encountering other alluring women, and leaping from one incident to the next in the hope of foiling the spy ring and clearing his name.

In the adaptation one actor plays the three women with whom Richard Hannay has romantic and dramatic entanglements, and two actors play the many other characters in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and often the occasional inanimate object like a lampshade, a table, a chair, even a car. This often requires lightning fast changes and ‘lots of clowning’. The NWTC will consider adding to the number of players with the opportunity for many small parts suitable for those new to the theatre.

The serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.

A play reading of The 39 Steps will be held at the Roxy Theatre on Sunday September 11 at 4pm. The North West Theatre Company will consider the prospect for this play to be one of their projects for 2017. All are welcome to come along, to read or just to listen, and to share a fun afternoon.

For more information, please contact the organiser Rick Hutton on 0428 255 380.