Story by Mariah Cowsert
This brilliant British comedy, directed by Tom Kaechele, exhibited high energy while keeping the audience on the edge of their seats and allowed our imaginations to play through their strong and numerous characters.
“The 39 Steps” is a comedy-thriller based on Scottish writer John Buchan’s mystery thriller novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1939 thriller-romance, both of the same title. This play spoofs the story line of one of Hitchcock’s classics while providing sharp and witty fast-paced humor to entertain new viewers of Hitchcock-esque entertainment and devout fans alike.
Richard Hannay, played by Kyle Cain, becomes enveloped in an international spy ring related to the mysterious 39 steps while encountering an agent named Annabella Schmidt (played by Sydney Doornbos) who is soon killed in Hannay’s apartment. Hannay then attempts his run from the police, played by Dylan Harris and Matt Ablan, as he is wanted for the murder of Annabella Schmidt. After many trials, Hannay slips through the grasp of the police with the help of his stubborn accomplice, Pamela (played by Sydney Doornbos) and later discovers the secret to the 39 steps hidden in the brain of the quick-witted question master, Mr.Memory, also played by Harris.While the cast consisted of only four actors, they played a total of nearly 100 characters, each with distinct vocals and accents.
The production team and crew members were on the top of their game as they delivered laughs with over 200 sound cues, while a regular play production would normally use around 5-15 sound cues. The set involved quick changes between Hannay’s apartment, an Irish farmhouse, a police chase, and a plane crash that used silhouettes to brilliantly portray their scene to the audience.
After laughing so hard I was crying and slapping my knee in delight, following the opening night performance the audience gave the actors and production team a well-deserved standing ovation. I was absolutely entranced during the show and ready for the next sharp witted line to be beautifully delivered. “The 39 Steps” was special to the Circle stage and is one of my favorite productions I’ve seen thus far.
To get your live theatre fix this summer, visit the Circle Theatre Facebook page and read up on this season’s productions.
About the Writer…
Mariah Cowsert is a junior studying Communication with a Theatre Emphasis and English. She has been writing for The Saint since last fall and is excited to continue doing what she loves. In her free time she enjoys running, acting and technical theatre involvement, painting, talking in third person for bios, and reading.