Originally The 39 Steps was adapted from a novel written by John Buchan and then made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935. However, more recently, The 39 Steps has been converted into a comedic play based on the murder mystery thriller by Alfred Hitchcock. The play achieved to morph a scary and serious black and white film into a contemporary comedy filled silly scenes and lots of laughs. The transition from novel to film is very common in modern society and most would argue the book is always better than the movie. Moreover, this was the first play I had been that was based on a film and it was definitely a success story. After having watched a few scenes of the original movie, I was not very engaged and lost interest quickly. On the other hand, the play was filled with drama and excitement.
One way to incorporate the film was by exaggerating some of the original scenes, for example the part when Annabella was stabbed in the back. In the film she was stabbed in the back and just laid there like a dead fish. But, in the film the actress played up her death by suggestively moving her hips up and down almost like she was having sex with Richard right before she died. Furthermore, she struggled for a while and kept moving before she froze to show the audience she was finally dead. This type of comedy reminds me of the Scary Movie film series which mock horror flicks, especially the movie Scream. The Scary Movie series is filled with adult humor, and filled with schtick spoofs and goofy gags. If the numbers for the Scary Movie series tell us anything, it’s that an audience likes spoofed movies (it has grossed about 287,000,000 worldwide)
Another reason why I would argue the play is more engaging than the film was due to the fact that a screen was not separating the audience from the action, especially for those of us who had the privilege to sit in the very front row. We were so close we could see the spit spewing from their mouths and flying onto the other actors faces! I felt as if I was right there, literally in the story, part of the scene and part of the whole production. Having the opportunity to sit front row, made me feel as if I was a participant in the show, not just a spectator. Furthermore, watching the play with a group of my classmates contributed to a more enjoyable experience. For example, when the show broke for intermission we were not sure if it was over or if it was just intermission. We only came to realize it was intermission when the vendors came out to sell little cups of ice cream. Also, watching a play with your friends allows for you to discuss, question, laugh at your favorite parts, and create a memory together. On the other hand, I watched the Hitchcock movie alone, on my laptop, and it was not the most pleasurable experience, unlike watching the play version of The 39 Steps. I believe audiences will continue to be delighted in watching this funny, witty, and smart play, I know I did.