New Vic spies hit with The 39 Steps

Published: 1 March 2019

Codebreaking conundrums will be centre stage as Staffordshire’s New Vic Theatre puts its trademark stamp on the spy comedy drama The 39 Steps.

A cast of four will play more than 120 characters in the Newcastle-under-Lyme theatre-in-the-round’s presentation of Patrick Barlow’s adaptation from an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

Isaac Stanmore, who played Jonathan Harker in New Vic artistic director Thersa Heskins’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 2015, will play Richard Hannay, the unlikely hero with a stiff upper lip and a knack of getting into and out of tricky situations.

Rebecca Brewer takes the roles of Annabella, Pamela and Margaret. She was Mrs Farley in April De Angelis’s Playhouse Creatures at the New Vic in 2018.

Playing clowns in The 39 Steps are Gareth Cassidy who was Bilbo in Kevin Dyer’s The Hobbit, an outdoor production by The Duke’s, Lancaster in 2016, and New Vic regular Michael Hugo, who was a constable in the Northern Broadsides production They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!, Deborah McAndrew’s adaptation of the Dario Fo play in 2018, and Passepartout in Laura Eason’s adaptation of Jules Verne’s Around The World In 80 Days which toured in 2017.

New Vic artistic director Heskins directs The 39 Steps, which will feature an Enigma Machine-inspired design by Dawn Allsopp. Sound designer is Alex Day and James Atherton is composer and musical director. Beverley Norris-Edmunds is choreographer and vocal coach is Caroline Hetherington.

The 39 Steps will run at the New Vic Theatre from Friday 8 until Saturday 30 March.

Steve Orme