The 39 Steps Performances

Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th November 2022 at CryerArts, High Street, Carshalton SM5 3BB.

Box Office

Adult: £14.00 / Concessions: £13.00 (plus booking fee) on Wednesday, Thursday, & Saturday Matinee

Adult: £15.00 / Concessions: £14.00 (plus booking fee) on Friday & Saturday Evening

Synopsis

The 39 Steps is a parody based on the 1935 British thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, (which is in turn very loosely based on the 1915 adventure novel The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan). It concerns a Canadian civilian in London, Richard Hannay, who becomes caught up in preventing an organisation of spies called “The 39 Steps” from stealing British military secrets. After being mistakenly accused of the murder of a counter-espionage agent, Hannay goes on the run to Scotland and becomes tangled up with an attractive woman (or two) while hoping to stop the spy ring and clear his name.

The play’s concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film The 39 Steps to be performed with a cast of only four. One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, an actress (or sometimes actor) plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object. This often requires lightning-fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once. Thus, the film’s serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a TrainRear WindowPsychoVertigo and North by Northwest.

Artistic Team

Director – Paul Hudson

Characters

RoleDescription
Richard HannayDescribed in the play as 40ish, attractive with a pencil moustache. He is the protagonist. Only actor to stay the same character throughout the play. Charming, sophisticated, and falls in love at the drop of a hat. Not easily shaken, and able to adapt easily to any situation.
Annabella Schmidt/Pamela/MargaretThree romantic leads all played by the same person. She needs to have different accents (German, Upper Class English, Scottish). Playing age 20-40. Annabella is a German Secret Agent. No-nonsense and very serious, though automatically drawn to Hannay. Pamela is an upper class woman who is also serious, able to stand up to Hannay, with a stiff upper lip. Margaret is a down-trodden Scottish woman who wishes to escape the country life and hopes Hannay can help.
Clown 1 & Clown 2Two actors who play ALL the other roles. Able to swap characters, male and female, at the drop of a hat (literally). These actors will be very busy, with quick changes both in costume, and in mannerisms per character.
Clown 1 RolesClown 2 Roles
Mr Memory
Agent 1
Mrs Higgins
Salesman 1
Paperboy
PC1
Crofter
Pilot 1
Mrs Jordan
Chief Inspector
Dunwoody
Heavy 1
Mrs. McGarrigle
Highland Cow
Nanny
Compere
Agent 2
Milkman
Salesman 2
Policeman
Porter
PC2
Pilot 2
Prof Jordan
Sheriff
McQuarrie
Heavy 2
Mr. McGarrigle
Albright
Baby

Audition Pieces

RoleAudition Pieces
Richard HannayAct 1, Scene 1. Act 2, Scene 21 pg 68, and pg 69
Annabella Schmidt/
Pamela/
Margaret
As we need to see all three characters there are three audition pieces:
Annabella: Act 1, Sc 3 pg16 to top of 19
Margaret: Act 1, Sc 13 pg41,42
Pamela: Act 2, Sc 29 pg 92-95
Clown 1 & Clown 2Audition Pieces: Act 1, Sc2 Act1, Sc8

Please be aware that there is not a requirement to learn the parts off by heart. More important are energy, character, and interpretation.