Tue 25 Jul 2023

Acclaimed stage adaptation of the original spy thriller, The 39 Steps, opens at Theatre by the Lake

A revival of the hugely popular production, The 39 Steps, opens next week at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick.

The show is a co-production between Theatre by the Lake and Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, who staged the production in 2018. The remounted show has been playing to packed audiences in Scarborough throughout July, and will play at the Keswick venue from Thu 3 August – 2 September.

Theatre by the Lake’s summer season got off to a triumphant start with the hit production, Blonde Bombshells of 1943, which, as well as attracting new audiences, saw pre-pandemic audiences returning once again for an entertaining night out. The 39 Steps comes hot on its’ heels, and is set to be a real theatrical highlight for local and tourist audiences this summer.

The show mixes a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, and adds a dash of Monty Python to create a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre. This Olivier Award-winning treat is packed with non-stop laughs, some good old-fashioned romance and a whole host of colourful characters (all played by a ridiculously talented cast of four). Iconic scenes include the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the first-ever theatrical biplane crash and a death-defying (well nearly) finale.

Dave Hearn, who plays the indomitable Richard Hannay, is a founder member of Mischief Theatre, the award-winning comedy creators of The Play That Goes Wrong and much more, and has appeared in many Goes Wrong shows on stage and TV. Olivia Onyehara (All’s Well That Ends Well and Richard III, RSC) plays Hannay’s romantic interest, Pamela, amongst other characters. The two Clowns are played by Lucy Keirl (Cinderella, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing (Hope Mill/Shakespeare North Playhouse), and Niall Ransome, who is also a member of Mischief Theatre, and returns to Theatre by the Lake after his role in the recent hit Around the World in 80 Days.

This wonderfully comic cast will be directed by Paul Robinson, the director of the critically acclaimed 2022 stage production of Brief Encounter (Theatre by the Lake, Stephen Joseph Theatre and The Octagon Theatre, Bolton). His first feature length film, And Then Come The Nightjars (Finite Films) will be released on 1 September.

Paul says: “We’re delighted that this remount is a co-production with Theatre by the Lake – we’re sure that the Lakes will love it as much as our Scarborough audiences have.”

Liz Stevenson, Artistic Director at TBTL, says: “It’s great to be working with the Stephen Joseph Theatre again and we’re very much looking forward to welcoming this great production here at Theatre by the Lake. The 39 Steps is the perfect addition to our line-up of shows being staged here this year. After the success of both One Man, Two Guvnors and Brief Encounter in 2022 we felt this classic and comedic whodunit was something our audiences were keen to have more of.”

The 39 Steps will play at Theatre by the Lake from Thursday 3 August to Saturday 2 September. Tickets are available here.