Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The 39 Steps

Last night Anne and I went off to the Criterion Theatre to see a production of The 39 Steps. It was a great evening.

Adapted by Patrick Barlow, it is a comedy take on Buchan's original story. The story moves along at a great pace and we didn't even notice the time passing. No sooner had the opening monologue begun than we found ourselves 45 minutes later at the intermission without a dull moment.

The cast of four did a great job and I think we'd even go back and see it again, just to pick up on some of the things we might have missed the first time around. There was some really clever use of props and shadow puppets on a very simple set. I'm not sure how far through the action that I realised the number of references to Alfred Hitchcock, the director of the original film version with Ronald Coleman in 1935. On the train home we listed the ones we could remember: Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, The man who knew too much, North by North West. I'm sure there were more.

According the the programme notes "Buchan's story is too cerebral to make a good movie," but this comedy adaptation works really well. If you get the chance to go and see it, I don't think you will be disappointed. A good night out.

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