The 39 Steps
"Uproariously jolly and splendidly inventive" The Guardian
John Buchan's The 39 Steps adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. They said it was unstageable! But John Buchan's gripping whodunnit - memorably filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935 - has, at last, been thrillingly adapted for the stage.
"A fast-paced, resourceful and attractively tongue-in-cheek production by Maria Aitken"
This sensational brand new version is performed by just four actors playing a minimum of 150 roles and is guaranteed to contain not only comedy and thrills galore, but also every single legendary scene from the award-winning movie - including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and the sensational death-defying finale in the London Palladium! Besides many other favourite and cinematic moment, including the memorable and controversial 'stockings and suspenders' scene and many more.
WINNER! BEST NEW COMEDY
This production is directed by Maria Aitken with designs by Peter McKintosh. The 39 Steps comes into London's West End following a hugely successful sell-out season at The Tricycle Theatre in North West London.
"Dizzyingly entertaining... highly recommended" The Daily Telegraph
"This clever and witty adaptation by Patrick Barlow, which owes most to Hitchcock's 1935 film, takes our affection for the story and characters for granted. The result is a hugely entertaining, escapist two hours that, under Maria Aitken's direction, manages to have its fun without resorting to camp... All in all, thoroughly ripping." The Sunday Times
"Daft and drolly amusing... the cast acquit themselves with aplomb" The Financial Times
"Maria Aitken's spirited production of The 39 Steps [is] a cleverly calculated mix of the commercial and the experimental, four actors - and one mystery arm - fracture themselves into 150 parts to perform John Buchan's derring-do 1915 thriller. This 39 Steps is part spoof-spook and part dead-pan clowning... It is its own strange small thing. Which could be exactly the thing the West End has been waiting for." The Observer
"A joyful version of The Thirty-Nine Steps (the Hitchcock film rather than the original Buchan novel)... while it's played for laughs, they are subtly achieved, often by no more than a slight speeding up or slowing down of the original lines... The production also generates real atmosphere, and as Hannay (running on the spot) sets off for St Pancras station through swirling dry ice, and with the sound effect of a steam engine in the background, your heart is racing." The Sunday Telegraph
"With Charles Edwards playing the hero, Richard Hannay, for laughs, the whole yarn is reduced to burlesque... Aitken's production also misses the full impact of the exuberant theatricality which sends props rolling on and off on castors, creates close-ups with tourches and enacts an airborne highland chase with epic shadow play." The Mail on Sunday
The 39 Steps in London at the Criterion Theatre previewed from 14 September 2006 and opened on 20 September 2006.