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The 39 Steps’ Richard Galazka and Alix Dunmore at the This Morning Audience Award photoshoot (Photo: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features)

The 39 Steps' Richard Galazka and Alix Dunmore at the This Morning Audience Award photoshoot (Photo: Jonathan Hordle/Rex Features)

Oliviers Audience Award: The 39 Steps

First Published 17 February 2015, Last Updated 13 March 2015

What’s it all about?

This stylish, slick and sensationally silly comedy earns that overused – but in this case utterly deserved – adage of truly being like nothing else you’ll see on stage.

Based on John Buchan’s classic thriller and Alfred Hitchcock’s subsequent famous film noir, The 39 Steps  gives the mysterious tale a fast-packed, witty makeover, retelling it with a cast of just four who play 139 characters between them. When you take your seats to witness this tongue-in-cheek hit, expect a plethora of inventive props and ingenious stage tricks.

Casting coup

Numerous familiar faces have outwitted audiences with their million miles an hour performances since Maria Aitken’s production opened in 2005. Original cast member Charles Edwards, most recently seen in the Angela Lansbury-led Blithe Spirit, went on to star in the Broadway transfer, while Dianne Pilkington was tempted to swap potions for parody following a two and a half year stint as Wicked’s Glinda.

Fascinating fact

The 39 Steps was adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow. Not only a writer, Barlow is a familiar face from films including Bridget Jones, Notting Hill and Shakespeare In Love. A talented fellow we’re sure you’ll agree.

Olivier Awards history

Olivier Award alumni, The 39 Steps won Best New Comedy at the 2007 ceremony, where it was also nominated for Best Sound Design.

They say…

“It’s such good fun, fast-paced, with lots of laughs in it. We get a great reaction off the audience, which is lovely and keeps you going over the months.

“[This award] feels great because it’s voted for by the audience – hence the name – and it’s lovely that it’s not some committee sitting in a room discussing something. It’s people who’ve taken the trouble to vote for us because they like what they saw.” Current star Richard Galazka.

We say…

Cast your vote, pack your bags and secure your sock suspenders, it’s all aboard for this super speedy journey that will transport you from the busy streets of 21st century Piccadilly Circus to the country wilds of 1910s Scotland – complete with murder, intrigue and romance – in a jiffy.


The 39 Steps is booking at the Criterion Theatre until 31 October. You can buy tickets through us here.


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