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The 39 Steps

Claire North News

So!  I went to the theatre a few days ago, for the first time in ages.  The ironic thing about learning how to work in theatre, is that you never really have time to go and see the real thing… but anyway…  we found discount tickets to go and see a show in the West End, which is something I haven’t done for a while anyway, and after much negotiation we settled on the 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre.

I’ve read the 39 Steps… I enjoy it… it’s part of a series of books by John Buchan in which his hero, Richard Hannay, fights conspiracies and unearths deadly, usually German, plots involving military secrets and occasionally illicit uses of hypnosis.  And I promise you, the upper lip has never been stiffer.  Danger and daring-do are the words,  and if the works can be summarized in any way, it’s probably by the sentiment ‘oh jolly gosh, I seem to have been shot’.  Only much, much better than that.

The phrase ‘oh jolly gosh’, while I’m sure it never actually appears in the works of John Buchan, does seem to have been the idea that was seized upon by the powers behind the theatre adaptation of the 39 Steps, with brilliant results.  The play is a rip off of all things Hitchcock, performed by 4 actors in 40 hats and the strategically materialized arm of one ASM, with a set for which the word versatile was really created.  It is honestly hilarious, exciting and basically, at the end of the day, just tonnes and tonnes of fun.  And for £10 a throw, all I can really add to this is… GO!