Richard Hannay played by Chris Armstrong (left) tangles with the judge

Richard Hannay played by Chris Armstrong (left) tangles with the judge

Dinner and laughs with The 39 Steps

Studio Theatre aims to please with their dinner theatre production of Patrick Barlow’s The 39 Steps.

Comical action, dozens of costume changes and punchy humour are the hallmarks of great dinner theatre and this year the Studio Theatre aims to please with their production of  Patrick Barlow’s The 39 Steps.

The 39 Steps is a melodrama adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. The play’s concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film to be performed with a cast of only four.

The original concept and production of a four-actor version of the story was by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. Patrick Barlow rewrote this adaptation in 2005.

One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, an actress (or sometimes actor) plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object.

This often requires lightning fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once.

“It’s pretty nutsy when you do all those changes,” says Jay Goddard who plays one of the clowns and is working to create 14 different characters of different ages, genders, accents and different countries — German, English, Scottish, French to name a few.

“There are so many costume changes,” adds Sylvia Swift, who plays the other clown. “In one scene I change 15 times, sometimes right on stage.”

In rehearsal last week Goddard also poked fun at director Curt Sprickerhoff for some of his costumes.

“He is really mean,” Goddard said. “He made me wear a dress twice.”

Sprickerhoff retorted that was Goddard’s payback for making him wear a dress in another play in which he was acting and Goddard was directing.

Goddard and Swift star in the play alongside Chris Armstrong as Richard Hannay, and Amanda LeForte who takes on three roles as Annabella Schmidt, Margaret, and Pamela Edwards.

All in all this serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a TrainRear Window, PsychoVertigo andNorth by Northwest.

The Studio Theatre’s production is coming up at the Signal Point convention centre on Nov. 12 to 15 and 19 to 22.

Tickets are $35 for all of the regular performances and $60 for the special gala evening performance on Saturday, Nov. 22 to celebrate the Studio Theatre’s 60th anniversary.

Cocktails and appetizers start at 6:30 p.m. each night, and the show time is at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for The 39 Steps are available at Aboutface Photography, 1st Editions, The Open Book and at Signal Point.

, dozens of costume changes and punchy humour are the hallmarks of great dinner theatre and this year the Studio Theataims to please with their production of  Patrick Barlow’s The 39 Steps.

The 39 Steps is a melodrama adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. The play’s concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film to be performed with a cast of only four.

The original concept and production of a four-actor version of the story was by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon. Patrick Barlow rewrote this adaptation in 2005.

One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, an actress (or sometimes actor) plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object.

This often requires lightning fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once.

“It’s pretty nutsy when you do all those changes,” says Jay Goddard who plays one of the clowns and is working to create 14 different characters of different ages, genders, accents and different countries — German, English, Scottish, French to name a few.

“There are so many costume changes,” adds Sylvia Swift, who plays the other clown. “In one scene I change 15 times, sometimes right on stage.”

In rehearsal last week Goddard also poked fun at director Curt Sprickerhoff for some of his costumes.

“He is really mean,” Goddard said. “He made me wear a dress twice.”

Sprickerhoff retorted that was Goddard’s payback for making him wear a dress in another play in which he was acting and Goddard was directing.

Goddard and Swift star in the play alongside Chris Armstrong as Richard Hannay, and Amanda LeForte who takes on three roles as Annabella Schmidt, Margaret, and Pamela Edwards.

All in all this serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.

The Studio Theatre’s production is coming up at the Signal Point convention centre on Nov. 12 to 15 and 19 to 22.

Tickets are $35 for all of the regular performances and $60 for the special gala evening performance on Saturday, Nov. 22 to celebrate the Studio Theatre’s 60th anniversary.

Cocktails and appetizers start at 6:30 p.m. each night, and the show time is at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for The 39 Steps are available at Aboutface Photography, 1st Editions, The Open Book and at Signal Point.

 

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