Stepping forward at Bluebarn, the assembled ensemble of four familiar talents takes on the task of portraying ca 150 characters, sending up Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary 1935 film The 39 Steps.

Richard Hannay, KCB, OBE, DSO,FYI, PDQ becomes accidentally involved in preventing a spy organization, AKA the 39 Steps, from stealing British military secrets. Mistakenly accused of killing a counter-espionage agent, ASAP Hannay flees to Scotland joined by a lady named Pamela, all the while hoping to close the loop on the spy ring and prove his innocence.

In collapsed space-time zipping by in this merry go round: a music hall, a lady’s flat, a train compartment, a Scottish farm house, the Scottish moors, a luxurious country estate,  a political meeting,  a country inn, the London Palladium, a chorus line. This unfolds decorated by shots, a stabbing, hiding under a bridge, a plane crash, handcuffs, a broken window, a chorus line. Romance. Jealousy. Terror. Heroes. Villains. Men. Women. Children. Sheep. A missing digit.

All this and more squeeze into this fast-paced farrago faithful to the details of the original screenplay derived from a 1915 novel turned into a goofy stage romp by Simon CorbleNobby Dimon,and Patrick Barlow

The Bluebarn cast from a 2013 production again trods the light fantastic: Ben Beck, Bill Grennan, Kirstin Kluver, and Ablan Roblin, once more unto the breech directed by Susan Clement-Toberer. “The choice of this play and superb casting again represent the Bluebarn at its best,” wrote The Reader’s  Warren Francke in those days of yore. “The sheer genius of Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of John Buchan‘s novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s movie is matched in every facet by the direction of Susan Clement-Toberer.”  

Be warned. This could be a riot.

The 39 Steps runs amok November 24-December 17, Bluebarn Theatre, 1106 S. 10th Street. Weds: Dec.6 & 13, Thurs. Fri. Sat: 7:30 p.m. Sun. Nov. 26, Dec.3: 2 p.m. Dec. 17: 2 & 6 p.m. Tickets: $25-$30.

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