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The 39 Steps

adapted by Patrick Barlow

My only experience with The 39 Steps prior to reading it was watching the PBS version starring my British crush Rupert Penry-Jones ---->

Some of the scenes from the film stuck with me as I was reading, but mostly the play created a whole new world in my mind.

I loved how inventive the piece was - making huge spectacles with very little. I just saw Brief Encounter at Roundabout the other night and the elements are very similar. (Highly recommended, btw, if you have a free night definitely check it out.)

Like all good farces, there are moments that rise above the comedy and speak to you at a deeper level. Hannay, in a moment of desperation, is forced to give a public address. He's not sure of what or who he is supposed to be but he delivers a rousing speech:
Let's all just set ourselves resolutely to make this world a happier place! A decent world! A good world! A world where no nation plots against nation! Where no neighbour plots against neighbour, where there's no persecution or hunting down, where everybody gets a square deal and a sporting chance and where people try to help and not to hinder! A world where suspicion and cruelty and fear have been forever banished! That's the sort of world I want! Is that the sort of world you want?
Here here!

Tomorrow's Play: All My Sons by Arthur Miller

1 comment:

katwoman said...


I share your crush on Rupert and miss him on weekly on "MI-5"! Did not get to see him on "Burn-Up". An looking forward to "Silk", am hoping PBS in America picks it up.

Hope to get bak to London and see Rupert on stage!

God Speed!


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