Patrick Barlow’s award-winning play adaptation of John Buchan’s novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The 39 Steps” was brought to life on Friday, Sept. 11 on the Clarence Brown main stage. The play, directed by Kate Buckley, follows the original story of spies, betrayal and top-secret government projects. Instead of using an entire cast, the dozens of characters are played by four cast members.
Set in the year 1935, “The 39 Steps” stars Brian Gligor as 37-year-old Richard Hannay, a London man who gets tangled up in the complicated web of secret agents and undercover villains through the persuasion of a mysterious German agent by the name of Annabella Schmidt.
Starring alongside Gligor is Katie Cunningham, who plays three different roles including Agent Schmidt, Margaret the Scottish housewife and her major role as Pamela, Hannay’s main love interest and partner in crime.
Completing the four person cast are David Brian Alley and David Kortemeier. Audiences watch the men run around the stage like mad men as they fill in for dozens of different characters, playing anyone from a small newspaper boy, to underwear salesmen, to more major characters like the evil Professor at Alt-Na-Shellach and the amazing Mr. Memory.
The events of “The 39 Steps” take this charming cast of characters all the way from London, across the Scottish countryside and back again in a whirlwind adventure full of classic slapstick comedy, suspenseful fight sequences, murders and many allusions to the other famous works of Hitchcock. The show’s completely nonexistent fourth wall ensures that audiences are thrown headfirst into this kooky and eccentric adventure sure to be a treat to theatergoers of all ages.
“The 39 Steps” will be showing until Sept. 27 with shows every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., as well as a few 2 p.m. matinee performances on the weekends. Tickets can be found on the Clarence Brown Theatre’s official website.
Edited by Taylor Owens
Alley is a junior at UT majoring in journalism and electronic media. She has a passion for pop culture like no other and hopes to one day work on red carpets interviewing all of her favorite celebrities. When not writing for the Tennessee Journalist, you can probably find Alley live-tweeting award shows or sharing photos of her cat, Hedwig, on Twitter.