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The 39 StepsMix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This 2-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of 4), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old fashioned romance!

In The 39 Steps, a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale! A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, The 39 Steps amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure!

Review by John Burland

“An unforgettable evening of pure pleasure”

The 39 StepsOnce again BrassNeck producer Royston Bayfield and members of the company has produced a venerable feast for theatre goers in the Yeadon Area.

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This 2-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of 4), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old fashioned romance!

In The 39 Steps, a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in nail biting finale! A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, The 39 Steps amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure!

Outstanding in the role of Richard Hannay is Jason Evens, a local teacher of Performing Arts. He brings his many years of theatrical experience to the part. He is on stage throughout the two hours of the show in a part that would task most professional actors. And yet he does this with aplomb.

The 39 StepsProviding the perfect foil to him is Emily Taylor who plays the three principal female roles of Annabella Schmidt, the spy in the early part of the production, Margaret, the wife of a Scottish farmer and Pamela a girl he meets on the train travelling north to Scotland and who then teams up with him in mainly the second half of the production. Their interaction is brilliant and I thought the acting when they are handcuffed together and trying to cross a stile in the Scottish Highlands was some of the funniest I have seen for a long time.

The other two performers in the cast are Tom Kyle and Bruce Sturrock who between them play dozens of parts. These included police officers, bagpipers, the professor and his wife, newspaper vendors, train ticket collectors, business travellers on the train, political officials, salesmen, ballerina, theatrical producer and Mr Memory, farmer and hotel keeper and his wife. There were times when they were changing from one character to another and back again in a matter of seconds and how they remembered who they were supposed to be at any one time must have taken weeks of practice.

I was highly impressed with these two performers and also with the technical staff who had a multitude of music, sound effects and lighting sequences to inject into the production to make this a highly entertaining evening.

A great performance which I hope will be equally enjoyed by the Aireborough theatre going public during the rest of the run.

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