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Robert Portal Returns To The Role Of Hannay In THE 39 STEPS


Robert Portal makes a welcome return to the role of Richard Hannay in Patrick Barlow's adaptation of The 39 Steps, directed by Maria Aitken, currently in its third year at the Criterion Theatre. On Monday 2 February he joined the current cast members Tessa Churchard, Alan Perrin and Nigel Betts in this hilarious 100 minute whodunnit.

Robert Portal first played Hannay from April to October 2007. Since that time the production has enjoyed incredible UK and international success and he returns to a role which is currently played by 14 actors in as many countries across the world.

In the UK the West End run will play its 1000th performance on 4 March at 8 p.m. In 2008 the touring production visited 23 theatres across the country to great success. On Broadway the production is now in its second year and has recently transferred to Helen Hayes Theatre in New York. Following its acclaimed opening it went on to win two Tony Awards and two Drama Desk Awards.
Maria Aitken's multi award-winning production contains every single legendary scene from the award-winning 1935 classic Hitchcock movie thriller - including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and the sensational death-defying finale in the London Palladium, as well as the memorable and controversial ‘stockings and suspenders' scene.

Robert Portal's stage credits include Private Lives, The Deep Blue Sea (Theatre Royal, Bath); Calico (Duke of York's); Noises Off (Piccadilly); The Rivals, Henry IV, The Transit Of Venus, The Merchant Of Venice, Love's Labour's Lost, The Country Wife, The Venetian Twins, A Christmas Carol (Royal Shakespeare Company); The Invention Of Love, Ajax (Royal National Theatre) and Cain, Venus Observed (Chichester Festival Theatre). His television credits include The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Surviving Disaster, Rosemary And Thyme, Pharaoh And The Great Belzoni, The Queen's Sister, Distant Shores, The Thick Of It, Clocking Off, The Queen's Lover, Bye Bye Baby, The Armando Ianucci Show, The Merchant Of Venice, Julia Jekyll And Harriet Hyde and The Painted Lady.

The 39 Steps has designs by Peter McKintosh, lighting design is by Ian Scott, sound design by Mic Pool, and movement by Toby Sedgwick. The 39 Steps is presented by Edward Snape for Fiery Angel Ltd and Tricycle London Productions Ltd in association with the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Theatre Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly Circus, London SW1
Box office 0844 8471778
Tickets £12.50 - £45 plus concessions
Groups Best available seats £19.50
Valid only Mon - Fri eves, Tues & Sat mats
Performances Mon - Sat at 8pm,
Matinees Tues at 3pm & Sat at 4pm

Photo: Rachel Pickup and Robert Portal

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