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The 39 Steps to Broadway

First Published 17 April 2008, Last Updated 21 April 2008

The 39 Steps extends its stay in London until 9 February 2008 and sets dates for a US production to play in Boston prior to a Broadway run.

Patrick Barlow’s comic adaptation of John Buchan’s classic novel is based on the 1935 Hitchcock film. It began life at West Yorkshire Playhouse before a successful London run at the Tricycle, subsequently transferring into the West End’s Criterion theatre, in September 2006, where it has twice extended already. The show picked up the Best New Comedy at the 2007 Laurence Olivier Awards in February.

The 39 Steps tells the story of Richard Hannay, whose mundane life in London is interrupted by the murder of a mysterious woman in his apartment. Forced to go on the run, Hannay flees to the wilds of Scotland, determined to find out the truth about the strange organisation called The 39 Steps. With only four actors playing a multitude of roles, the show recreates every scene from the film, including the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on Forth Bridge, a bi-plane crash and the finale in the London Palladium. Hitchcock himself even puts in an appearance.

The current cast stars Robert Portal as Hannay, with Jimmy Chisholm, Simon Gregor and Rachel Pickup. They are directed by Maria Aitken.

While no dates have been confirmed for the Broadway run, a US production of The 39 Steps will play in Boston from 14 September, in anticipation of a Broadway transfer. em>CB

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