University of Adelaide Theatre Guild
The Little Theatre


Written By: Adapted by Patrick Barlow
From the Novel by John Buchan
Directed By: Mark Wickett

“Although clearly dangerous, he is quite good-looking, actually”

A whisky, two stubborn singletons bound by handcuffs, and a chase from London to the Scottish Highlands, The 39 Steps takes a Hitchcock masterpiece based on the ground-breaking spy novel by John Buchan and transforms it into a theatrical spectacle of comedy, action, romance, and fresh fish.

“On the surface, it’s a classic thriller set in the mid-1930s, when the world was again frightened of war – terrified of whatever ‘The 39 Steps’ could be,” says director Mark Wickett, “yet when you look beneath that menace, the two main characters are just lonely individuals caught up in something much bigger than themselves, trying to deny their mutual attraction.”

Adapted by Patrick Barlow for the West End and Broadway, this Olivier and two-Tony® award-winning play has dozens of characters – all played by a ridiculously talented cast of four – with sound effects created live by an on-stage foley artist. The play is a pastiche of Hitchcock’s 1935 film (and his other works), creating laugh-out-loud comedy from witty dialogue – often unchanged from Hitchcock’s writers – and inventive stagecraft, on a stripped-back set in the intimate surroundings of Adelaide’s Little Theatre. You will almost feel the rush of the Flying Scotsman as it hurtles over the Forth Bridge; brace yourselves for a plane you’re convinced will crash into the front row; and swear there’s more than four people on stage.

Wickett continues: “I want to make audiences laugh, yet preserve Hitchcock’s message that despite their unfortunate ordeals, love must prevail.”

Content Warning: mild violence, sexual tension, and political ideology; the performance may also contain strobe lighting, haze effects, with simulations of gunshots, whisky drinking, cigarette smoking, and fish frying.

Approx. Running Time: 2 hours plus interval
Suitable for ages: 13+

Performance Dates:
Friday 25 October at 7:30pm
Saturday 26 October at 7:30pm
Sunday 27 October at 4pm
Wednesday 30 October at 6:30pm - *with post-show Q&A*
Thursday 31 October at 7:30pm
Friday 1 November at 7:30pm
Saturday 2 November at 7:30pm
Sunday 3 November at 4pm

Little Theatre