I recently saw Patrick Barlow’s tongue-in-cheek adaptation of the 39 Steps at the Peoples Theatre, and it was an absolute delight from beginning to end.
The story follows Richard Hannay - an all-action hero with a stiff upper lip and an uncanny knack for getting himself out of sticky situations.
The slapstick action and fast-paced dialogue were reminiscent of the Ealing comedies. The quick costume changes and impeccable comic timing was brilliant.
Jake Wilson Craw, as the unflappable Hannay, was wonderful and Anna Dobson as the mysterious Annabella Schmidt had an air of Marlene Dietrich about her. The manner in which Richard Gardner and Roger Liddle effortlessly ran through their repertoire of comedy double-act routines was inspired.
The 39 Steps is a witty, high-energy show that is a tantalising mix of vaudeville and great storytelling. Pure physical theatre at its best.