Currently celebrating its sixth year at the West End’s Criterion Theatre – where it won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy – the critically acclaimed London and Broadway production of THE 39 STEPS tours to the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday 18 March to Saturday 23 March. This hilarious smash hit production is adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow from John Buchan’s 1915 novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1935 spy thriller.
Blissfully funny and wonderfully inventive, The 39 Steps follows the gripping adventures of handsome hero Richard Hannay, complete with stiff-upper-lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache as he encounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents, and, of course, devastatingly beautiful women.
Four actors play 139 roles in this fast-paced spy drama. The fearless four are Richard Ede, Charlotte Peters, Gary Mackay, previously seen at the Theatre Royal in The Madness of George III in 2011 prior to the West End, and Tony Bell, last seen at the Theatre Royal in A Man for All Seasons in 2005, prior to the West End. Together they perform every single legendary scene from the award-winning movie – including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and the sensational death-defying finale in the London Palladium – besides many other favourite cinematic moments, including the memorable and controversial ‘stockings and suspenders’ scene!
The 39 Steps has won many awards including an Olivier Award and Whatonstage.com Award for Best Comedy, two Drama Desk Awards for Unique Theatrical Experience and Outstanding Lighting, two Tony Awards for Best Lighting and Best Sound Design, and the Molière Award for Best Comedy.
The 39 Steps has enjoyed international success, playing all over the world in twenty-five countries, including Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Spain, South Africa, South America and Turkey. The production has also run on Broadway and toured North America.
Maria Aitken has directed The 39 Steps on tour, in the West End, Australia, Broadway and for the US national tour. Her many credits as a director also include the critically acclaimed Man and Boy starring David Suchet in the West End and on Broadway, a production which played the Theatre Royal Bath in 2004; Easy Virtue at the Chichester Theatre; and As You Like It for the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC. As an actress, she has played leading roles in the West End in Humble Boy, Design for Living (Gielgud); Sylvia (Apollo); Hay Fever (Albery); The Vortex (Garrick); Private Lives (Duchess) and A Little Night Music (Adelphi). Her many film credits include Fierce Creatures and A Fish Called Wanda.
The 39 Steps is adapted for the stage by award-winning writer Patrick Barlow – aka Desmond Olivier Dingle, the Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Brent. The company’s legendary two-man epics include, for the theatre: The Charge of The Light Brigade, The Black Hole of Calcutta, Zulu!, The Messiah and Love upon the Throne – The Charles and Diana Story (nominated for an Olivier Award). On television, the National Theatre of Brent’s credits include The Messiah, Mighty Moments from World History, Massive Landmarks of the Twentieth Century for Channel 4, and French Revolution for BBC2. Patrick’s other many film and television writing credits include, The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole, The True Adventures of Christopher Columbus and the BAFTA-winning Young Visiters, starring Jim Broadbent and Hugh Laurie. Patrick’s acting work for film and television includes Nanny McPhee; Absolutely Fabulous; Bridget Jones’ Diary; Shakespeare in Love; Notting Hill; French and Saunders; Absolutely Fabulous; Jam and Jerusalem; and Miranda.
A sneak preview of The 39 Steps is available here:
THE 39 STEPS appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Monday 18 March to Saturday 23 March. Tickets are available from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 01225 448844 or online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk