The 39 Steps Analysis

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The 39 steps is a theatre play directed by Jon Halpin which follows the story of Richard Hannay as he attempts to find the spies who murdered Annabella Smith and uncover the truth of the 39 Steps. The 39 Steps is a pastiche, adapted from Hitchcock's version of this story and a small take on John Butchan’s original book. This has then been converted into a comical play, recently breaking the state theatre record bringing in over $428,000 at the box office. The director, Jon Halpin, mentioned in an interview that “Hitchcock’s film couldn’t be put on stage” which adds difficulty to the adaptation to a live play leading him on a more comical reworking of the film as opposed to Hitchcock’s original style. During the transition from film to play, a plethora of comical elements were invited to the stage which included elementary slapstick between characters and references to other Hitchcock movies.

The play consists of only 4 actors playing over 100 roles. Nathan Page played the role of Richard Hannay, Anna Steen played 3 roles while Charles Mayer and Tim Overton played over 40 roles each! Having Page play only one role complimented the play quite nicely since he had a very separate
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It was mentioned in a Q&A after the play that a large deal of their budget went into a vintage theatre curtain which meant they had minimal money to organise props and costumes although they managed to turn this into much more of a pro than a con. With the small amount of money left for props, they used comedy instead by breaking the 4th wall to replicate how the audience may react to such props. Speaking of props, Mayer and Overton also played the two hilarious stagehands who shouldn’t be stagehands. They are scripted to do the most terrible job they can by being clumsy and bringing out the wrong props which keeps the play upbeat in some of the more serious parts of the