The Nov. 22 dinner theatre production of The 39 Steps will be a special gala evening to celebrate the Studio Theatre’s 60th anniversary of live theatre in Williams Lake.
The evening will be a formal occasion with fancy dress, fancy food and the musical stylings of the local band Bluenote after the dinner and play.
The evening will also include a silent auction with one prize being a private showing for the winner and 97 friends to one of the plays to come in this year’s season.
The 39 Steps began its two-week dinner theatre run Wednesday.
John Buchan (1875-1940), wrote the novel The Thirty-Nine Steps.
He was a public servant and politician who ended up as Governor General of Canada from 1935 to 1940, and was also an historian and novelist.
The 39 Steps, published in 1915, was the first of five books that featured the character Richard Hannay, “an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and a miraculous knack for getting himself out of sticky situations.”
The 39 Steps is one to the earliest examples of the “man-on-the-run” thriller that Hollywood often used as a plot device.
The novel is a fast-paced adventure with a serious resolution, and interestingly, no love interest for the hero. What really made The 39 Steps famous, however, is that in 1935 it was adapted as a movie by Alfred Hitchcock.
Hitchcock took a few keys elements, namely a mysterious murder in the hero’s apartment and a prolonged chase through Scotland, and turned them into a marvellous romp.
He also had the good sense to introduce some female characters.
Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon had the crazy idea of turning this action flick into a four-actor stage play in 1995, and Patrick Barlow rewrote this adaption in 2005.
The play shares the plot and characters with the film, but it is a comic treatment of the story, in the style of “Monty Python meets Alfred Hitchcock.”
The cast of four actors portrays dozens of roles, including actors doubling parts within the same scene.
The part of Richard Hannay is the only one where the actor does not double in another role in the play.
Directed by Curt Sprickerhoff the Studio Theatre production stars Chris Armstrong as Richard Hannay, Jay Goodard and Sylvia Swift as clowns and Amanda LeForte in three roles as Annabella Schmidt, Margaret, and Pamela Edwards.
The 39 Steps takes place at the Signal Point convention centre on Nov. 12 to 15 and 19 to 22. Regular tickets are $35 and gala night tickets are $60. Tickets are available at Aboutface Photography, 1st Editions, The Open Book and at Signal Point.