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The 39 Steps
The 39 Steps

by John Buchan Adapted by Patrick Barlow from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon
Directed by Mike Higginson

12th to 19th October 2019

Listen to the Director

Production Dates October 12th -19th 2019

Audition Date Sunday July 14th 15.00-15.55

Director Mike Higginson:  m 07789 278984 mjhigginson@tiscali.co.uk

This is your opportunity to be part of a fast-paced, high-octane comedy thriller, to kick off the 2019/20 season in style.

Alfred Hitchcock’s brilliant 1935 film was ranked by the British Film Institute as the fourth best British film of the 20th century and Patrick Barlow has created a spectacular stage version which fully captures all of the tension, humour and excitement of the iconic film. Legendary scenes include the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge and the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged, as well as the death-defying finale at the London Palladium. 

In 2007, the play won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy and the What's On Stage Award for Best Comedy and was described by the Sunday Times as “A joyous version of the Hitchcock classic”.

In case you don’t know the story it is about an accidental tourist in London, (Richard Hannay), who (without knowing it) becomes caught up in preventing an organization of spies 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 (literally) with an attractive woman in the hopes of stopping the spy ring and clearing his name. But what or where are the 39 Steps?

Casting: The play is written to be capable (just about) of being performed by 4 actors (three men and one woman) but Barlow concedes that, with over 100 parts, it could equally well be performed by 50 actors! I will be happy to work with a cast of anything between 4 and 12.

Male Parts: Hannay (no Canadian accent needed) will obviously be played by one actor (25-40) and it is a very large part.

I then need two talented comedy actors (described as “clowns” in the script) to perform a series of double acts.

I can also add two or three other (older) actors in some of the many cameos; if this sounds like you, please read for Professor Jordan.

Female Parts: Three young alluring female roles (one Scottish) which can be played by one, two or three actors (25-40) depending on the level of interest; please read for Annabella and/or Margaret. If there is an outstanding candidate to play all three roles then I may cast it that way but I can also cast two or three other actors (of varying ages) in cameos.

So please audition and give me the problem I love of hours of pleasure of allocating stage time to as many actors as possible.

TechnicalWith multiple settings (33 scenes in total) the set will be flexible (but with sliders, a train to climb along and a bridge to jump off), with loads of imaginative lighting and exaggerated sound effects.  Costume will be of the 1910-20’s but lots of it with some glamour …and I guess there will be a few props…certainly some guns and handcuffs!

Rehearsals: Whatever the size of the cast, this is an ensemble piece and will need full engagement in the fun from day one. I will try to be flexible with rehearsals (starting on 26 August with the usual pattern of Monday, Wednesday, Friday and some Sundays) but it will be vital that you avoid conflicting commitments/holidays, or declare them upfront!

Audition Pieces:

Hannay- pp 1-2 (monologue)

Annabella/Hannay-pp7 (“Mr Hannay”)-8 (“Now do you believe me”)

“Clowns” /Hannay-pp 16 (“Evenin’ paper”)-18 (“Right you are”)

Crofter/Margaret/Hannay - Scene 12 to “Margaret!”(pp25/26) and Scene 13 to “Aye, Ye could” (pp27-28) (Scottish accents required)

Professor Jordan/Hannayspeeches middle of p39

Dunwoody (male or female)/McQuarrie/Hannay- pp 46 and 47

Cast 
 
Crew 
 
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