Spies, Lies, and Tomfoolery in Hitchcock's THE 39 STEPS at Village Theatre

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python, and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced, comedy-fueled whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre. On stage in Issaquah starting January 19, this Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning play features four versatile cast members putting on a frenetic show-within-a-show. Based on the novel by John Buchan and the classic film by Alfred Hitchcock, and adapted by Patrick Barlow, The 39 Steps has become a stage favorite not just for its nostalgic spy thriller plot and winking references to Hitchcock, but for the virtuosic clowning required by the farcical stage adaptation, leading it to be one of the longest running plays in the history of London's West End.

When Richard Hannay, a dapper Englishman living a humdrum life, brings home a mysterious woman with a thick accent, he has barely leaned in for a kiss when he finds she's been stabbed in the back - literally. Suddenly, the show's handsome hero has become a notorious fugitive on the run from a nationwide manhunt. As he hurtles to the far reaches of the United Kingdom, Hannay encounters double-crossing secret agents, romantic entanglements, and nonstop roadblocks as the story speeds towards a death-defying finale.

The 39 Steps compacts the entirety of Hitchcock's adventure film, and its 150 characters, into a play featuring only four cast members-which means actors change from one character to the next through the innovative use of props and lightning-quick costume changes. Hannay is played by Aaron Lamb, making his Village Theatre debut. His various romantic interests are played by Emily Cawley, and the rest of the characters - heroes, villains, men, women, children, and the occasional inanimate object - are skillfully portrayed by Chris Ensweiler and Orion Bradshaw.

The production is directed by Matt Walker, a graduate of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's Clown College. A founding member of Los Angeles' Second City Improvisation and The Troubadour Theater Company, Walker brings to the production a physical, improvisational style. Joining him on the creative team are Burton Yuen as the Scenic Designer, Alex Jaeger as the Costume Designer, Andrew Smith as the Lighting Designer, and Brent Warwick on sound design.

The 39 Steps is on stage in Issaquah January 19 - February 26, 2017 before moving to Village Theatre's Everett location from March 3 - 26, 2017.

About Village Theatre

Based in Issaquah, WA, with operations in Everett, Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest. Producing entertaining, quality productions for the entire family since 1979, Village Theatre has grown into one of the region's best-attended Equity theatres, with nearly 20,000 Subscribers and 200,000 projected total attendance each season. Through its Village Originals program, Village Theatre is nationally recognized for its contribution to the development of new musicals, having launched over 150 new works to date. Village Theatre also takes pride in nurturing tomorrow's audiences through its youth education programs, Pied Piper and KIDSTAGE, serving over 60,000 young people, families, and schools annually.

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