A Tony Award winning comedy thriller, adapted by Patrick Barlow from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps is a hilarious, comedic, and faithful rendering of Hitchcock’s classic. Barlow based his adaptation on the original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon of a two-actor version of the play, but Barlow’s version calls for the entirety of the 1935 mystery-thriller film to be performed with a cast of only four playing all 30 characters. Thus the film’s serious spy story is played with tongue firmly in cheek, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.
One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, an actress plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show, including heroes, villains, men, women and even the occasional inanimate object. It is this dexterity that fuels the action for this highly theatrical comedy thriller that includes an escape from a moving train, a leap from a bridge into frigid waters, and a narrow miss with a malevolent airplane bent on destruction.Watch video highlights.