News Column

Hit West End show coming to the city

July 2, 2013


HIT West End show The 39 Steps is on a UK tour that comes to the Theatre Royal later this month.

The Olivier and Tony Award-winning production, based on John Buchan's 1914 spy thriller, runs from Monday, July 15, to Saturday, July 20.

This stage adaptation is a comedy featuring four actors playing 139 roles. One of the things that interested me in the project was having the chance to do something that was very farcical and fast but that kept people gripped by the story, says writer and actor Patrick Barlow.

It's ridiculous, because the whole thing is done with four people and there's smoke-machines and music and they''re changing hats and voices and props all the time but the story is the thing.

The 39 Steps has played all over the world, including a run on Broadway. It's now in its sixth year at the West End's Criterion Theatre.

The latest production makes reference to Alfred Hitchcock, the director of the first film adaptation in 1935.

Says Barlow: In the first draft, I put in a couple of little movie references and Maria Aitken, our director, really fell for the idea.

So we had all sorts of really obscure Hitchcock titles but the audience got them all.

He adds: Hitchcock himself actually makes an appearance but you have to keep your eyes peeled.

Tickets are Pounds 14 to Pounds 27.50 from the box office, call 0115 989 5555 ot go to

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