Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The 39 Laughs, more like it

The 39 Steps live parody of Alfred Hitchcock’s film by the same name was undoubtedly made for his fans. To prove this idea I will point out the numerous references to other Hitchcockian works that left me wondering if anyone else in the Criterion Theatre was laughing or smiling behind me as much as I was (since I was sitting in the front row and couldn’t turn back to check every time this happened (nor did I want to, because I didn’t want to miss anything on stage)).

The first time I caught on to this was when the helpful farmer’s wife held a wooden window frame to help Hannay escape, and she softly but candidly said, “…you should go out the Rear Window.” Later in a separate conversation, there was a funny reference to The Birds; followed by an inkling of Shadow of a Doubt, Vertigo, a Psycho bath tub scene, and of course, vivid mention of The Man Who Knew Too Much.

With Hitchcock’s résumé, I’m sure there were other slight but meaningful references in this impressively funny play, but I might have missed some (recalling how distracted I was in regards to the piece of gum previously stuck to my seat and my persistence to remove it so I could better enjoy the play!)

Overall, the play was enjoyable for everyone, but mainly for Hitchcockian fans, by scattering mention of his other films throughout this play. Plus, as a piece of trivia I’d like to add that our dearest Alfred was known for appearing in cameos in his films. Although ‘twas impossible to see him in the flesh during this production (as he appeared briefly in the film version as a person walking down a street), I’d like to spotlight that the scene where the antagonist professor (played by Paul Critoph) appears to be lurking over a shadowy hill while “police” are chasing Hannay, his profile (including belly) resemblance to Alfred Hitchcock is spot-on (and ANYONE THAT DIDN’T CATCH THIS IS NOT A TRUE FILM STUDENT or you’ve got a long way to go in film school ;)
So, yes, the main character Hannay (Ben Righton) was handsome, but an understudy man (Paul Critoph) was surprisingly impressive as a portly actor with tons of stamina to be able to play several characters at once. Ellie Beaven and Greg Haiste where remarkable actors, too. Well done everybody!

No comments:

Post a Comment