Brusier Theatre Company and the Lyric Theatre have partnered up to present The 39 Steps, a fearlessly impressive comedic take on Hitchcock’s original spy thriller.
In what is certain to be one of the most fast-paced performances you’ll ever see, this stylized play features four fearless actors playing no fewer than 139 roles.
Depicting the adventures of Richard Hannay (played by Michael Johnston), who treads the fine line of pompous upper-class gent meets dastardly loveable rouge incredibly as he attempts to discover the secret of the eponymous 39 steps before the information leaves the country – all whilst on the run. This naturally leads to a rather hilarious turn of events – as a result of the multiple characters he meets along the way.
This production is such a comedic success because of the dedicated synchronisation from its small but clearly dedicated cast. Their ability to transform into different characters through the use of facial expressions, character traits and hilariously authentic accents is unparalleled in anything we’ve ever seen before.
The energy is maintained throughout, with Michael Condron and Liam Jeavons particularly unwavering in their action-packed performance as the comedy duo of this piece. One stand out moment in particular being when Jeavons and Condron assume the roles of the owners of the McGarrigle Hotel, with Jeavons fawning over Hannay and his ill-gotten ‘wife’ Pamela to hilarious effect.
Meanwhile, not to be outdone the uber talented Hannah Brackstone-Brown flitted effortlessly from role to role, with a particularly comedic turn as femme fatale Annabelle Schmidt.
You’ll find it hard to see a production quite like this elsewhere, with all four of the amazing actors involved each deserving every standing ovation received from the entire audience as the curtains dropped on its stage debut. Each member is on top form – both individually and in their highly sequenced performance, which makes their rigorous rehearsal period so evident.
But it’s the unteachable comedic quality that means you’ll be literally laughing 10 times a minute. Which is what makes this well-polished play with the tiny cast a truly triumphant performance and a credit to the actors onstage.