07 October 2010

The Thirty-Nine Steps

My Theatre Arts class went on a field trip to see a play called "The 39 Steps" yesterday. It was originally an Alfred Hitchcock film, but was adapted to play form and made into a comedy.

The whole play is a spy story, and quite dramatic (5 deaths total), yet incredibly funny. Lots of slapstick and wit.

But the best part? The play contains something like 50 characters, and only 4 actors are in the play. Crazy, I know! And incredibly difficult. One actor plays the main character, Richard Hannay, and another actress plays the 3 female roles. The two men left over play the rest of the characters, both male and female. It was interesting to see them switch roles, sometimes in midscene!

It was doubly awesome, of course, because I had an excused absence from most of my classes. Huzzah!

PLOT SUMMARY: Set in the 20s or 40s (I can't remember which, I suspect the 20s), the play follows a man named Richard Hannay through an insane and oft-hilarious journey to uncover the truth about "The 39 Steps" after the mysterious spy Annabella Shmidt is killed in his flat. On the run (being wanted for murder), Hannay picks up two more lady friends, gets shot, peeks into a party, becomes a finger puppet, and listens to an incredibly detailed story from Mr. Memory. Not necessarily in that order.

If your local theatre puts on this play, I recommend you attend. It was lovely. :)


  1. Sounds great! My friend loves Hitchcock films, and I'm sure she'd love seeing this.
    It reminds me a bit of a production of As You Like It I saw, where people were changing characters and running about desperate to get into the right outfit. It must be so tricky!

  2. Awesome! I wish I could see it, but my local theatre doesn't put out any thing other than horror plays and such.

  3. Interesting. I can't imagine myself being more than 2 characters at once! :)

  4. That sounds really good!

    My class recently went to see a production of Warriors Don't Cry, an adaption of the book about one of the Little Rock Nine. It was amazing! It was a one-woman show, and I loved the way that she would switch roles! One minute she was an old grandmother, then a soldier, then a little girl. She was also a really good singer.

    I think I have a new idol!

  5. Masterpiece Theater just made a The 39 Steps movie, me and my sisters watched it twice. It was really funny, that poor guy got in to so much trouble. :P

  6. Very cool. The only 4 characters part sounds pretty amazing! :)

  7. Cool!

    I read the 39 clues series and my mom always call it the the 39 steps. I love Alfred Hitchcock's movies .. especially the Birds. =D

  8. I love Alfred Hitchcock!!! :) Sounds like you had fun!


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