heypresstest.co.uk
Main Menu
Random photo
Docks Textures 3

Docks Textures 3

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
779
Red 2: Lively Nightshade
1822
I Give It A Year - and Two Thumbs Up
2765
Django Unchained - Bountiful Entertainment
2067
The Hobbit - Through a Children's Book to an Adult Epic
3000
Life of Pi - Do You Believe in Miracles?
1906
Skyfall - The Rise of Bond and the Day of the Old Guard
931
Great Expectations - of Critical and Box Office Success
2047
The Sapphires - Outshining Dreamgirls
2957
Frankenweenie: Disney Does Horror
1995
Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
1088
Hope Springs
3273
Bells: Kathak and Aerial Ballet Fusion in Olympic Torch Day Celebrations
3287
The Wedding Video: Wait for the DVD
3275
Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
1061
Brave: A Tale of Bears, Conflict and Needlework
2720
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift Warms Cinema Seats
2604
Midnight in Paris - time-travel celebrating the present
1490
Royal Academy - Summer Exhibition 2011: a private view
1316
Harry Potter 8: The Last Battle
926
The 39 Steps - Ups and Downs at the Criterion
1095
Camera Obscura - The Focal Point of Edinburgh
2319
The World Cafe
1178
Tangled
1022
Exuberance at Giuseppe's
1258
Tax Disc Renewal Online - in Just 3 Days!
1518
Wagamama for Gluten-free, Dairy-free Dining
1975
The King's Speech
1106
Blade Runner on Blu-ray
1168
Apocalyse No!
1129
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Hogwarts: The Soap
119227
Bruno - Fantastische Funkyzeit or OTT und Offensive
1240
London Eye - Fast Track
10028
Gum Check Up
93907
Ice Age 3: Cool but Slow to Warm Up
1139
Star Trek 2009 Movie
1076
Armed and Dangerous
1146
 
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.