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The 39 Steps extends booking period

The Thirty Nine Steps

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

The 39 Steps has again extended its booking period at the Criterion Theatre – this time by four months – until June 7, 2008.

Previously Posted: On October 22, 2007, Simon Day (Anything Goes, The Coast of Utopia), Josefina Gabrielle (Chicago, Oklahoma!) and Martyn Ellis (Guys and Dolls) will join original cast member Simon Gregor in Patrick Barlow’s comic adaptation of The 39 Steps, which is currently booking until February 9, 2008 at the Criterion Theatre.

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Previously Posted: Patrick Barlow’s comic adaptation of the John Buchan classic, The 39 Steps, is extending its booking period for a third time – until February 9, 2008 – taking it into its second year in the West End.

Current cast members are Jimmy Chisholm, Simon Gregor, Rachel Pickup and Robert Portal.

Following its London success, The 39 Steps is US bound and will play at the Huntington Theatre in Boston – from September 14 to October 21, 2007 – prior to a Broadway run.

By a strange coincidence, the play, original film, Hitchcock and Buchan all celebrate their anniversaries in the month of August – August 14 is the first anniversary of the London production: August 1 was the release date for the original film; August 13 is the 108th anniversary of Alfred Hitchcock’s birth; and August 29 is the 132nd anniversary of John Buchan’s birth.

Previously Posted: From April 23, 2007, Robert Portal and Jimmy Chisholm will take over the roles of Richard Hannay and Clown in the Olivier Award-winning The 39 Steps at the West End’s Criterion Theatre.

Portal’s theatre credits include Private Lives and Deep Blue Sea (Theatre Royal Bath), Calico (Duke of York’s Theatre), Noises Off (Piccadilly Theatre), numerous productions for the RSC and, most recently, Tom and Viv (as Maurice) at the Almeida.

On television, he has starred in Margaret, Rosemary and Thyme and Distant Shores.

Chisholm has worked extensively at the Royal Lyceum Theatre performing in The Merchant of Venice, A Life in the Theatre, The Comedy of Errors, Three Sisters and Hamlet. His other theatre credits include Measure for Measure (RSC) and Dumbstruck and Macbeth (Tron Theatre Company).

His screen credits include Take the High Road, Taggert, Braveheart, Mrs Brown and Festival.

Rachel Pickup and Simon Gregor will continue in their roles.

Patrick Barlow’s comic adaptation of John Buchan’s classic, directed by Maria Aitken, has been playing to sell-out houses at the Criterion since its transfer from the Tricycle Theatre.

As well as winning this year’s Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, The 39 Steps also won Best New Comedy at the 2007 awards, voted for by theatregoers.

Previously Posted: The 39 Steps has extended its booking period for a second time at the Criterion Theatre and is now booking until September 15, 2007.

The cast of four are Charles Edwards, Rupert Degas, Simon Gregor and Rachel Pickup.

The 39 Steps has been nominated for two 2007 Olivier Awards – Best New Comedy and Best Sound Design.

Previously Posted: From January 15, 2007, Rachel Pickup will join the original cast of Maria Aitken’s critically acclaimed production of The 39 Steps at the West End’s Criterion Theatre.

Pickup, the daughter of Ronald Pickup who played Bayliss in the 1978 film version of The 39 Steps alongside Robert Powell, has this year appeared as Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Helen of Troy in Troilus & Cressida, both for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Her other theatre work includes Portia in King Lear, also for the RSC and Lyric Hammersmith, Ophelia in Hamlet for Birmingham Rep and The Fall Guy at the Royal Exchange. Her television credits include Dogtown, Rosemary & Thyme, Holby City and Coupling.

Previously Posted: Maria Aitken’s critically acclaimed production of The 39 Steps has extended its run at the Criterion Theatre and is now booking until April 16, 2007.

Previously Posted: Following its current run at north London’s Tricycle Theatre, The 39 Steps will transfer to the West End’s Criterion Theatre where it’s expected to open on September 15, 2006.

The cast of four will reprise their roles in the West End.

Previously Posted: Maria Aitken will direct Catherine McCormack, Rupert Degas, Charles Edwards and Simon Gregor in The 39 Steps which runs from August 10 to September 9, 2006, at the Tricycle Theatre.

Although McCormack is probably best known for her role in Braveheart, she has also appeared in The Land Girls, This Year’s Love, The Tailor of Panama and Spy Game.

Her stage credits include Vermillion Dreams (Salisbury Playhouse), Lie of the Mind (Donmar Warehouse) and Dinner (National Theatre). In 2001, she was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in All My Sons, also at the National.

Degas’ theatre credits include Becket – The Honour of God (Southwark Playhouse), The Boys Next Door (Latchmere) and Stones in His Pockets (Duke of York’s Theatre).

On television, he has appeared in Love Soup, Nathan Barley, Holby City and A Touch of Frost.

Edwards’ theatre credits include Hayfever (opposite Dame Judi Dench at the Haymarket Theatre), John Bull’s Other Island (Tricycle), Much Ado About Nothing and Private Lives (Theatre Royal, Bath), and The Duchess of Malfi and All My Sons (National).

Gregor will reprise his role from the original staging of The 39 Steps at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. His other theatre credits include The Late Henry Moss and The Hypochondriac (Almeida Theatre), The Lion King (West End) and The Front Page (Donmar Warehouse).

Previously Posted: Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of the John Buchan thriller The 39 Steps is to receive its London premiere at the Tricycle Theatre, where it will run from August 10 to September 9, 2006, prior to an anticipated West End transfer.

The gripping whodunnit which sees Richard Hannay unwittingly caught in a web of murder and espionage, has been filmed three times – by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935 with Robert Donat as Hannay, in 1959 with Kenneth More taking on the role, and more recently in 1978 with Robert Powell in the lead.

Barlow’s adaptation will be performed by just four actors (still to be announced) playing a minimum of 150 roles, and promises to be as exciting as anything previously seen on screen.

It will all be there – the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the bi-plane crash (the first of it’s kind to be staged); even the famous ‘stockings and suspenders’ scene. Nothing, we’re told, will be cut.

Barlow is also known as Desmond Olivier Dingle, artistic director of the fictional National Theatre of Brent, whose hit comedies include Messiah, Love Upon the Throne and The Wonder of Sex.

Tickets: £7.50 – £18 plus reductions.

For further information call the box office on 020 7328 1000 or visit the website.