Theatre: The 39 Steps

The 39 Steps
The 39 Steps

Stephen Joseph Theatre, June 21 to August 23 (in rep)

The Olivier award-winning thriller The 39 Steps receives its in-the-round UK premiere at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough later this month.

Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of John Buchan’s famous chase thriller and the Alfred Hitchcock movie played for nine years in London’s West End.

It then enjoyed a two-year run on Broadway and then in over 39 countries.

It is a brilliant, fast-moving spoof including legendary scenes such as the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape from the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash and a death-defying (well nearly) finale.

Artistic director of the Stephen Joseph Paul Robinson is at the helm of this production.

“This gripping and hilarious four-person whodunit was an original idea of North Country Theatre before being adapted by Patrick Barlow who turned it into a global smash,” he said.

“Now, The 39 Steps makes its return to North Yorkshire after an absence of more than 20 years – and we can’t wait to share it with our audience.”

The central character of Richard Hannay is played by Sam Jenkins-Shaw, a co-founder of Out of the Forest theatre company, and a co-creator of its show Bury the Hatchet, which has just returned from a US tour.

He has also been seen in Future Conditional at the Old Vic and The Bashful Lover at the Globe.

Playing no less than 138 other characters between them are:

Amelia Donkor, who was in James Graham’s The Culture – A Farce in Two Acts at Hull Truck Theatre earlier this year.

She has also been seen in What Shadows at Birmingham Rep, Lyceum Edinburgh and The Park Theatre and Villette at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Laura Kirman is an associate artist of Mischief Theatre Company and has appeared in its Olivier Award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong, and in Peter Pan Goes Wrong. She has also been seen in Vice Versa and Dido, Queen of Carthage at the RSC.

Niall Ransome is a member of Mischief Theatre Company, and has also appeared in The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong plus, on BBC radio, The Christmas That Goes Wrong.

Other work includes The Comedy about a Bank Robbery (Criterion) and Romeo and Juliet (The Rose Playhouse).

Director Paul Robinson trained at The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

He then received an Arts Council Directing Bursary at the Manchester Royal Exchange.

He was selected to attend the National Theatre’s advanced directors’ course and was then staff director at the National Theatre for three years.

Paul was joint artistic director of Theatre503 from 2007 to 2012, when the theatre was turned into a multi-award-winning new writing powerhouse.

He took on sole leadership of Theatre503 from 2012, introducing the Trafalgar Transfer season and the Theatre503 International Playwriting Award. He has been twice nominated for Best Artistic Director at the Off West End Awards.

Paul joined the Stephen Joseph as artistic director in the summer of 2016, since when he has directed The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Goth Weekend, and two Christmas shows.

The 39 Steps opens on Thursday June 21 and runs in rep until Thursday August 23.

Tickets: 01723 370541,

The 39 Steps runs at the Stephen Joseph from June 21 to August 23. Tickets: 01723 370541