Thanks to the Get Into London Theatre scheme, I was able to get a ticket to The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre for not very much at all. I had already seen the show when I first moved to London, but quite fancied paying another visit as I really enjoyed it.
The show attempts to recreate Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal 1935 film, based on the 1915 book by John Buchan, using only four actors and an imaginative range of props. Originally written by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon in 1995, the play was rewritten in 2005 by Patrick Barlow and this version premiered at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Opening at the Tricycle Theatre in London in 2006, it soon transferred to the Criterion, where it has been based ever since.
The current cast includes Richard Galazka as Richard Hannay and Alix Dunmore as every woman in the production. At the performance I saw, Daniel Tuite and Paul Critoph were the actors who played every other role between them. The show is fast, funny and clever and the actors work very hard to transform themselves into different characters. As a huge Hitchcock fan, I enjoyed spotting all the references to his other films.
Whether you have read the book and seen the movie or not, this is an entertaining adaptation for the whole family. If it is still here in a couple of years I am sure I will be making another return visit.