The Thirty Nine Steps
Adapted by & Simon Corble Nobby Dimon
from the novel by John Buchan
"The play perfectly demonstrates why the company recently picked up the Manchester Evening News Best Special Event Award, for this is a piece of theatre with about as much energy as you can squeeze into two hours." City Life
The orginal production of The Thirty Nine Steps was created late in 1995/1996 and produced by North Country Theatre for a small scale tour of theatres and village halls in the North of England and Scotland.
READ ABOUT THE SUCCESS OF THE PLAY IN THE INDEPENDENT
It has since been on an amazing journey, being produced by regional theatres such as Perth Rep and The Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch; a number one tour with Charles Vance productions and now, in a re-adpated form, it is a multi-award-winning West End and Broadway hit for Fiery Angel, as well as being produced in replica productions all over the world.
Both myself and Nobby Dimon still hold the rights to produce the orginal script in small-scale, regional U.K. theatres.
A special note on the staging concept
The action takes place within a London flat in the year 1935 - The general concept is that a team of decorators take it into their heads to relieve their boredom by acting out an adventure using only their ladders and planks to suggest the sets needed.
The action of the decorators in changing the ladders or in creating the sound effects with their tools, is at least half of the show. An 1930's radio sits on stage and provides "film-like" music for the chase sequences and ladder changes.
A Short Extract from the Script of The 39 Steps:-
Scene Five: The Crofter's Cottage
The ladders transform into a kitchen table, chairs and a window. Hannay, exhausted from the chase, is sitting at the kitchen table, Morag the crofter's wife, is unpacking her shopping from her basket.
[END OF EXTRACT - The 39 Steps]
Have you travelled far Mr Hammond? You look awful tired.
I'm from the Isle of Arran. I'm looking for work as a labourer hereaboots.
You're no from Arran; I was brought up there. And you're no a labourer with hands like these.
Oh, Its no use trying to fool you natives; the fact is I'm on a walking holiday - Oh what's the use! Listen, I'm going to confide in you. I'm being hunted by the police - they've been chasing me all over the moors - you see I'm wanted for a crime in London but you have to believe me; I'm innocent...
You're no the man who strangled his milkman!
Handing him the paper.
Milkman! I didn't kill the milkman and besides, it was a knife in the back – I mean…That is - I didn't kill anyone! Please, you have to believe me, I'm perfectly innocent...
I believe you -
but my husband is awful suspicious. Give the paper to me, I'll put that page on the fire before he -
The Crofter, Duncan, enters noisily. He has a pipe in his mouth and carries a stick. He snatches the paper from Morag.
Is my tea ready woman?
He sees Hannay and stares hard.
Above: Myself as Mr. Memory, Thomas Frere as Hannay in the Midsommer Actor's tour of The 39 Steps, 1997/8