39 Steps Essay

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The 39 Step play was adapted from the novel written in 1915 by John Buchan but originally stems from Alfred Hitchcock’s film the 39 Steps in 1935. This play has taken on many adaptations overtime but most of the production utilizes its cues from the Hitchcock version. With the play opening in Union Square Theater, the audience was treated to a completely different view of how theater operates. In this regard this play depicts an example of a farce comedy through the use of characters and props where the audience is treated to a version of theater arts rarely incorporated in modern day plays. The play basically focuses on a tale about “Spies between the wars, dashing heroes and classy dames’ (Gates, 2012). With the play centered on these issues one would think of a huge theatrical production done on a massive stage with many actors, instead 39 steps is the exception. In the sense that the audience is stunned silent with the realization that the production features a cast of just four who “portrays the story’s 100 plus different characters through the use of props, lightening quick costume changes and unbelievable theatrical verve” (39 Steps). The play centers on Richard Hannay, a man falsely accused of a murder, as he seeks to prove his innocence by fleeing across the English and Scottish countryside while being pursued by spies, assassins, and the police. Despite the fact that the novel and film itself are serious as possible, the stage version is done specifically for laughs hence its farcical nature. “One of the ways it achieves this is to have all of the parts played by a very small cast. Since the character of John Hannay is on stage for almost the entire time, the three other actors in this production must play all of the other 100-plus characters in the show” (Benbrook, 2007). The main character lends a bit of humor during the course of the production

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