Award-winning thrills

MHDE'The 39 Steps
MHDE'The 39 Steps

An award-winning theatrical adaptation of a classic book will be thrilling audiences when it comes to the stage later this month.

Based on the classic spy story The 39 Steps by John Buchan, the stage adaptation will be shown at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton from Monday, February 25 to Saturday,March 2.

The stage show brings together old-fashioned British gung-ho, stiff upper lips and devastatingly beautiful women all wrapped up in a combination which won countless awards since its theatrical debut in 2005.

The 39 Steps tells the tale of handsome hero Richard Hannay who finds himself embroiled in a dastardly plot while out on a trip to the theatre.

He meets a woman who stays the night at his flat. However, the next day he wakes up to find her dead and ends up on the run.

Hannay is accused of the murder he did not committ and his escape involves a mixture of espionage, deception and murder, and climaxing with a chase across the wilds of Scotland.

On the run from the police and a deadly spy ring, Hannay no longer knows who he can trust.

He must solve the riddle of The 39 Steps to save king and country - and to acquit himself of murder.

This new adaptation for the stage has been written by Patrick Barlow who used the book, first published in 1915, and the 1935 movie of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

The fast-paced thrillers features four actors playing a total of 139 roles in 100 minutes of entertainment.

The melodrama is also packed full of references to some of the master of suspense’s other works including Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.

Taking on the role made famous by Robert Donat in Hitchcock’s film is actor Richard Ede, who has previously understudied in the same role when the show has been on in the West End.

All three of the female roles are played by Charlotte Peters with the remaining parts in the show taken on by Gary Mackay and Tony Bell

The show won two Olivier awards for the Best Comedy in 2007, and the What’s On Stage award for Best Comedy while it won two awards at the 2008 Tony’s and was nominated for four other categories.

It has been critically acclaimed with The Daily Telegraph calling it “Dizzyingly entertaining.”

The Guardian described the show as, “Uproariously jolly and splendidly inventive” and comedian and actor Stephen Fry declared it, “Theatrical gold.”

Performances on each of the nights will start at 7.45pm with matinee performances on Thursday, February 28 and on Saturday, March 2 starting at 2.30pm.

Tickets cost between £10.50 and £26.50 and can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or visit