Comedian Paul Merton will make a very special one-off West End cameo next week in Hitchcock comedy The 39 Steps in aid of Comic Relief.
The Have I Got News For You star will play the crucial role of the play’s mystery killer and surprise fifth cast member in the show that famously features just four actors playing an incredible hundred plus roles between them in the speedy tongue-in-cheek satire.
He’ll take to the stage on 12 March for what the apparent Hitchcock enthusiast has described in a characteristically dry statement as: “The summit of my career as a West End actor”.
While Merton has performed his much-loved deadpan stand-up in the West End in previous years, this marks the performer’s West End acting debut. How much acting will be required is yet to be seen, however, as the audience only usually sees the hand of the mystery killer in the brilliantly funny take on the classic tale of a cat-and-mouse chase from London to the Scottish Highlands.
The producers of the hit long-running show will donate 50% of ticket sales from Thursday’s performance to Comic Relief, as well as collecting donations to the brilliant cause on the night.
The 39 Steps is one of 16 shows eligible to be shortlisted for this year’s publically voted This Morning Audience Award at the Olivier Awards 2015 with MasterCard. You can find out who has made this coveted list, along with all the other nominees for this year’s prestigious prize-giving event, on Monday by watching a live stream on Official London Theatre of the exclusive announcement event.