On Friday, December 4th 2015, the London Production Company performed the thriller “The 39 Steps” by Scottish author John Buchan for all 11th and 12th graders on the stage of our school’s assembly hall. The play is based upon Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film of the same title - a major movie at its time.
Nail-biting action based upon Alfred Hitchcocks film "The 39 Steps"
The play’s hero, Richard Hannay (performed by Tom Shah), a calm, charismatic and very British character, meets a glamorous lady, Annabella Schmidt, while watching a show demonstrating Mr Memory’s amazing ability to recall things at the London Palladium. She is a spy knowing about an organization called “The Thirty-Nine Steps”, who intend to smuggle top secret information - vital to Britain’s security - out of the country. When, after a short nap in his apartment, Hannay finds Annabella with a knife in her back and a map showing a place in Scotland, the police think he is the mysterious woman’s murderer. Intending to find out what is going on, innocent Hannay travels to Scotland, where a series of adventures begins. Pursued by the authorities he flees with Pamela, an attractive lady he meets on the train. Back to London, Hannay realizes that the spies use Mr. Memory to smuggle the secrets out. Shot by a policeman dying Mr. Memory recites the information stored in his brain and then passes away peacefully, saying "I'm glad it's off my mind."
Impressive actors and a good blend of exciting and funny scenes
The show was exciting and contained very funny scenes as when the actors mimicked a situation in which Hannay runs away from the police on a train to Scotland – hence this article’s title. We saw a superb cast of three who – except the hero - played a variety of colourful parts (Bryony Tebbutt as Anabella and Pamela, and Sarah Hastings acting out multiple characters) constantly changing costumes and accents at a lightning-fast pace. It was an impressive spectacle in which each character appeared unique and memorable. A few props were enough for the actors to create what seemed an entire world. During the quick changes of scenery they managed to cleverly distract the audience by showing sequences of Hitchcock’s film. All in all, this performance was a great success and can be recommended to everyone who has not seen it yet. In the end we were given the chance to ask the actors questions, which they gladly answered, demonstrating again their good sense of humour. We would like to thank Mr Mooser and Mr Deda for their kind support as well as all those colleagues and students who helped to make this event a smooth-running show for us all.
Get an impression of the actors and the atmosphere on stage by visiting our foto gallery (pictures by Georg Rössle, Q11)!