heypresstest.co.uk
Main Menu
Random photo
Cheese

Cheese

I Give It A Year
Image of two mismatched silver rings on a year calendar

The Hobbit - Review
Ink drawing on parchment of the Lonely Mountain with a compass on the top left.

Hope Springs Review
Photo of a fountain.

More Sunsets
Sunset over the Thames and Canary Wharf. Click to go to Sunsets and Dawns Gallery for new pictures

The Sapphires Review
Photo of a green toy army truck on a boomerange resting on the strings of a guitar.

Review: The Wedding Video
Image of Image of three empty wine glasses on a white table cloth with place fanme with purpe bow, all in pinkish light.

Olympic Torch in Finchley
Danuta Ryland carrying the Olympic Torch through Finchley, London 2012.


blog header logo

SmartSection is developed by The SmartFactory (http://www.smartfactory.ca), a division of INBOX Solutions (http://inboxinternational.com)
Articles > Reviews > The 39 Steps - Ups and Downs at the Criterion
The 39 Steps - Ups and Downs at the Criterion
The 39 Steps - ups and downs at the Criterion

The 39 Steps - Ups and Downs at the Criterion
by Chartreuse 24/5/2011 11.47

Having relished Apocalpse No! at the Trafalgar Theatre where all parts are played by four people we had every expectation of a positive experience. Seated in the stalls at the Criterion, my partner, two friends and I as well as the diverse audience around us audibly and visibly derived a hugely enjoyable evening from the trip.

Although this is a spoof, you don't have to be familiar with John Buchan's book, the film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, or the remakes. The Thirty-nine Steps is of the genre of the idle-but-debonair hero thrown unwillingly into the role of detective by dramatic circumstances, necessarily involving saving the country (with the spirited and independent heroine) if not the world. Set in the period where everyone who'd had a certain amount of education was imagined to speak like members of the royal family, the accent alone provides food for amusement. Ehbsolyuteleh.

The up-sides of this production are many. The book moves the reader from town to rugged country, journeying by train, car and on foot, from London flat to Scottish mansion, all inventively and entertainingly created on stage with dry ice, props and frantic enthusiasm by the gang of four. Such is the timing of the actors sharing the joke of the scrambling scene and costume changes that the audience feels in on the production.

The script mocks its own makeshift devices especially on the moor where one of the actors plays the obstacles including rocks and a ravine. Hitchcock enthusiasts can play spot-the-movie-title as well as searching for the elusive image of the great director himself. With only the occasional pause for breath the story is executed in a top hole flurry of excitement as the hero finds the top secret plans, the 39 steps, the villain and himself.

The ‘downs’ then? A London theatre arguably benefits from a touch of shabby charm. However the shabbiness had hit the seats in the springs and the gentle shifting in aged chairs of a packed house was at times loud enough to drown out the actors, at least for those of us in the stalls.

Consider taking hearing aids and or making a donation or fund-raising for the Criterion if you feel strongly about the issue. Other solutions might be to try the front stall or upper tier.

However, in this fest of fast-paced hilarity a few missed words are mere crumbs of dissent. Regardless of the mild sound issue I would highly recommend this production of The 39 Steps. If you can watch the Robert Donat/Madeleine Carroll version from 1935 so much the better but, if not, this still stands alone as a comic tour-de-force.

  View this article in PDF format Print article Send article

Other articles in this category Hits
Now You See Me - And You Should
794
Red 2: Lively Nightshade
1857
I Give It A Year - and Two Thumbs Up
2818
Django Unchained - Bountiful Entertainment
2123
The Hobbit - Through a Children's Book to an Adult Epic
3054
Life of Pi - Do You Believe in Miracles?
1987
Skyfall - The Rise of Bond and the Day of the Old Guard
947
Great Expectations - of Critical and Box Office Success
2086
The Sapphires - Outshining Dreamgirls
3007
Frankenweenie: Disney Does Horror
2127
Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
1100
Hope Springs
3346
Bells: Kathak and Aerial Ballet Fusion in Olympic Torch Day Celebrations
3315
The Wedding Video: Wait for the DVD
3335
Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
1078
Brave: A Tale of Bears, Conflict and Needlework
2746
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift Warms Cinema Seats
2643
Midnight in Paris - time-travel celebrating the present
1548
Royal Academy - Summer Exhibition 2011: a private view
1328
Harry Potter 8: The Last Battle
940
The 39 Steps - Ups and Downs at the Criterion
1112
Camera Obscura - The Focal Point of Edinburgh
2330
The World Cafe
1193
Tangled
1037
Exuberance at Giuseppe's
1272
Tax Disc Renewal Online - in Just 3 Days!
1529
Wagamama for Gluten-free, Dairy-free Dining
1992
The King's Speech
1123
Blade Runner on Blu-ray
1184
Apocalyse No!
1140
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Hogwarts: The Soap
119262
Bruno - Fantastische Funkyzeit or OTT und Offensive
1257
London Eye - Fast Track
10044
Gum Check Up
93920
Ice Age 3: Cool but Slow to Warm Up
1153
Star Trek 2009 Movie
1090
Armed and Dangerous
1164
 
The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

 
Search
Feel Better Films
Red petunia in rising sunlight

The Virgin Articles
Image of two small green plants in snow

Red 2 Review
Image of the digit 2 in red on a smokey black background

Django Review
Image of the letter D embossed on tan leather spattered with blood across the lower half

Life of Pi Review
Image of the symbol pi in a circle drawn in white sand on blue water.

Frankenweenie Review
Image of the word 'Frankenweenie' in a horror font in white on a black background.

Great Expectations Review
Image of water next to a muddy gritty shore with the words in white italic script: Great Expectations.

Bells and Kathak
Image of three dancers in red costumes holding a large bunch of white balloons

New Cranes Gallery
Three white cranes on the Shard

Ice Age 4 Review
Chalk drawing of Scrat with a nut.

Review of Brave
Image of Vue cinema internal glass door with red-haired triplet appearing to peep around it, an a poster of Brave in the background showing Merida.