Four Actors Play Over 150 Characters In Constellation Theatre's THE 39 STEPS
Following its critically acclaimed run of Little Shop of Horrors this fall, Constellation Theatre Company continues its 2019/20 Season: Free Your Passion with The 39 Steps, a fast-paced and riotously funny adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 spy thriller film.
"Constellation Theatre Company has shown time and time again that its vision isn't limited to the four walls of 1835 14th Street," says director Nick Olcott. "Filmmakers talk about taking a play and 'opening it up' for the screen; with The 39 Steps, we're taking a movie and exploding it for the stage... I hope audiences will laugh themselves silly and at the same time be touched by the theme so dear to the heart of John Buchan (author of the original novel), Alfred Hitchcock (director of the film) and Patrick Barlow (adapter of the script): that only connection to other people and dedication to the good of all can save our souls - and the world."
One evening in 1930s London, Richard Hannay attends a vaudeville performance at the London Palladium when a fight breaks out in the theater and shots are fired. In the ensuing panic, a frightened young woman named Annabella Schmidt persuades Hannay to take her back to his flat. There, she claims to be a spy who has uncovered a plot to steal British military secrets implemented by a mysterious espionage organization known as "The 39 Steps."
The next morning, Hannay wakes up to find Annabella stabbed to death. Now a suspect in her murder, Hannay must careen across Europe to evade the police, expose the killer's true identity, and avoid certain doom at the hands of The 39 Steps. With climactic scenes like a high-speed plane crash and a foot chase atop a moving train, this hilarious whodunit pays homage to film noir in a manner both utterly ridiculous and ridiculously entertaining.
The 39 Steps began as a novel, penned by Scottish author John Buchan in 1915. Twenty years later, film director Alfred Hitchcock, famously known as the "Master of Suspense," brought Buchan's story to the big screen in a thrilling adaptation starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. In 2005, British comedian and playwright Patrick Barlow debuted a comedic four-actor version of The 39 Steps. The wildly successful production won the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and ran for nine years on the West End. It moved to Broadway in 2008, where it won two Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards. At the time of its closing in 2010, The 39 Steps was Broadway's longest-running comedy.
The 39 Steps will perform from February 6 - March 8, 2020at Source, located at 1835 14th Street NW, Washington DC 20009. Tickets are $25-45 and can be purchased over the phone at (202) 204-7741 or online at www.ConstellationTheatre.org.