Theatre: The 39 Steps

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

Is it a book? Is it a film? There is a plane – but this version of John Buchan’s chase-adventure thriller is a stage spoof version of the novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s film version.

It was originally performed by North Country Theatre in Yorkshire and turned into a global smash by Patrick Barlow.

Four actors bring this play to life – Richard Hannay is played by Sam Jenkins-Shaw, Amelia Donkor plays Pamela, Annabella and Margaret and Niall Ransome and Laura Kirman play the other remaining 100 plus characters.

These include pilots, heavies, a memory man, a Scottish crofter and an evil spy master.

This is the first time the play has been done in the round and the first time with a 50-50 gender split.

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

“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 score – with nods to Hitchcock’s other films including North by Northwest – has been written by Simon Slater, originally from Scarborough.

He was Olivier-nominated for Constellations and was musical director on the National Theatre’s highly- acclaimed production of Amadeus.

Slater has worked on several productions with director Robinson including the Stephen Joseph Christmas shows Pinocchio and A (Scarborough) Christmas Carol.

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

Tickets: 01723 370541