From Hitchcock to hilarity in 39 Steps

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Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps: four actors, 130 characters in 100 minutes at The Lowry, from Tuesday 21st – Saturday 25th June

The Olivier Award-winning stage adaptation of classic 1935 Hitchcock movie The 39 Steps comes to The Lowry, to mark its tenth anniversary.

Based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie and John Buchan’s 1914 spy thriller, The 39 Steps sees four actors play 130 characters in 100 minutes of comedy.

The 39 Steps was famously adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock in what is widely regarded as one of the best films from his early period. The stage production references a number of the legendary scenes from this 1935 classic movie thriller of the same name, including the chase on the Flying Scotsman train, the escape on the Forth Road Bridge and even the controversial ‘stocking and suspenders’ scene.

The 39 Steps follows dashing hero Richard Hannay – complete with stiff upper lip, British gung-ho and pencil moustache – in a dangerous tale of cat-and-mouse from London to the Scottish Highlands. The cast for this touring production are Richard Ede (the eponymous hero Hannay), Olivia Greene (the three women in Hannay’s life, Pamela, Annabella and Margaret) and the myriad of other roles are played with breath-taking speed and dexterity by Andrew Hodges and Rob Witcomb.

After a short run at the Tricycle Theatre in London, The 39 Steps opened at the Criterion Theatre in September 2006, where it ran for 9 years, seen by over 1 million people. During that time, it attracted worldwide attention and spawned international productions in over 40 countries, including the cities of Moscow, Tokyo, New York and Paris, reaching a global audience in excess of 3 million. In addition to its Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, in the US the play co-won the Drama Desk Award and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play. It won a Molière Award for Best Comedy in France, and a Helpmann Award for Best Comedy in Australia.

Richard Ede’s theatre credits include A Little History of the World (Watermill , Newbury); The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Bible – Abridged; George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life (Farnham Maltings); Benedick in Much Ado about Nothing; Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew; Cassio in Othello; Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet; Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Horatio in Hamlet, Fagin in Oliver Twist (all World Tours for TNT/ADG); Bagheera in Jungle Book (Oman); Stanley/The Mask in The Mask (UK Tour) and Sandy in Ben Elton’s Gasping (Cragrats Theatre). His TV work includes Modern Manners (BBC), a promotional film for a Korean Video Game, various commercials and voice-over work for Cartoon Network.

Olivia Greene’s theatre credits include Dorothy Brock in 42nd Street at Bird College; Eva in Kindertransport at Little Theatre, Leicester; Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz and orphan in Oliver at Haymarket Leicester.

Andrew Hodges originally trained at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2003. He has worked with a number of theatre companies and commercial producers including TNT Theatre, GB Theatre, The Oxford Shakespeare Company, The Reduced Shakespeare Company and Fiery Angel. His most recent work was with Antic Disposition’s acclaimed Henry V, playing the role of Fluellen, both in France and at The Temple Church, London. Andrew has appeared on screen in More4’s Iraq: The Bloody Circus and BBC’s Hands on History film.

Rob Witcomb’s recent theatre includes The Wind in the Willows, The Taming of the Shrew (Guildford Shakespeare Company); As You Like It (Oxford Shakespeare Company); The Dragon (Southwark Playhouse); Mucky Kid (Theatre 503); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Oxford Shakespeare Company); Fuente Ovejuna (Southwark Playhouse); Newsrevue (Canal Cafe Theatre). Recent TV includes The Five (Sky 1); Soul Broken Sky (MTV); Casualty (BBC); Trying Again (Sky); Lucan (ITV) & the title role in Les Dawson, An Audience With That Never Was (ITV). Film includes Dead Cool (Glass Gun Films), Mariah Mundi (E-Motion/Arcadia) and 3 & Out (Rovinge).

The 39 Steps is directed by Maria Aitken, with design by Peter McKintosh, lighting by Ian Scott, sound by Mic Pool, and movement by Toby Sedgwick. The Associate Director is James Farrell. It is presented by Edward Snape for Fiery Angel and Tricycle London Productions with the West Yorkshire Playhouse. From an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

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