Need a good laugh? A wonderful night out to the theatre? Then heading to the Criterion Theatre just off of Piccadilly Circus for ‘The 39 Steps’ is the place you need to be! Originally a book written by Scottish author John Buchan, The 39 Steps has been adapted to many forms including the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The 39 Steps circa 1935. This play, parody of the film, was adapted by Patrick Barlow. You do not need to watch the Hitchcock movie to have a wonderful and side splitting experience at the performance, but if you have your side will hurt more and your experience will have been more enjoyable.
This show is fast paced, wonderfully entertaining, and right in your face. Now remember that this is not a film or television show but live action where the actors interact with you, see your expressions, and you feel like you are right on stage with them; though staying in your seat is a must unless during intermission but only leave if one needs to use the toilet or get a quick snack.
For the personal experience, with watching the film I was curious how they were going to adapt it to the stage. Of course you cannot have a train go whistling by, well at least not a regular sized one that you would find in Piccadilly Circus. Having a small toy train go across the stage was a much better idea and still gave us the notion that the next scene was to be inside of the train. Though the actors did such a magnificent job with their movements to show that they were not on a stage but actually on a train headed for Scotland. You never were bored while watching the show. After realizing that yes it was only going to be 4 actors you then started to see the trend as to who would play what parts. While one male actor, Ben Righton was always Hannay, and then Ellie Beaven was mainly Pamela (though also played the Scottish wife and the Miss Smith), the other two male actors Greg Haiste and Paul Critoph played the rest of the roles which at some points were playing more than one at the same time. This of course helped with the comedy of the play. The show was absolutely brilliant and wonderful. This would have probably never been a play on my list to go see but I am extremely happy and grateful that it was on the list of events.
Tag line from the website: “4 actors, 130 characters in 100 hilarious minutes. Based on the Hitchcock classic, our hero Richard Hannay must solve the 39 steps to acquit himself of murder and save King and Country! I say!”
picture from (http://www.curtisbrown.co.uk/ben-righton//images/)