- Books, Literature, and Writing»
- Commercial & Creative Writing
The 39 Steps, London West End Play Review
The 39-Steps, West End Play, by John Buchanan
A review of the play: The 39 Steps which is probably the best west-end theatre play on in London, England, at the moment (in my opinion)
The 39 Steps is currently playing at the Criterion Theatre, which is in the middle of Piccadilly Circus in the West End of London. The 39 Steps, by John Buchanan was most famously directed by Alfred Hitchcock in the classic 1935 film, but this play, which is produced by Maria Aitken, while based on the same film (rather than the book), is an altogether different experience: An hysterical comedy version of the original thriller. Whether you are a fan of the original film or the book you will find this play an excellent alternative to the usual London West End Theatre experience.
Please read the review of the play below and also recommendations of alternative things to do in London and England, places to stay and eat
The 39 Steps
Review of 39 Steps Theatre Play
At The Criterion Theatre, Piccadilly Circus, London, England
I saw this play recently and I haven't laughed so much in a long time. This really is an extremely amusing play. We chose this play on the recommendation of a review which claimed it to be the funniest play in the West End at the moment, which I took with the usual pinch of salt, but decided to give it a try anyway. It really is. Maybe the funniest thing in the West End ever.
I won't give away too much of of the plot, not that it would really spoil the experience. The 39 Steps, by John Buchan was most famously directed by Alfred Hitchcock in the 1935 film, but this play, which is produced by Maria Aitken, while based on the same film (rather than the book), is an altogether different experience. With just four actors minimal scenery, and simple visual props and many characters this is an absolute masterpiece of visual humour and comic timing. This is perhaps the ultimate spoof espionage thriller. The play starts with the 37 year old hero feeling bored and looking for something exciting to do. He goes to the theatre where he meets a mysterious young lady and to cut a hysterical story short, she gets murdered in his flat after revealing some secret information and the chase begins. Most other roles are played by just two male actors, sometimes several at a time with just a quick change of hat and accent to alert you to the identity. Pythonesque female characters and outrageous overacting will keep you laughing to the end.
The Film: The 39 Steps - Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Where is the Theatre?
Where is the Criterion Theatre? - Map of Piccadilly Circus, West End Theatre District, London, England
39 Steps: The Book
Where is The Criterion Theatre?
The 39 Steps is currently playing at the Criterion Theatre, which is in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, easy to see, with large signs outside. The theatre is a good old theatre with reasonable comfortable seats, although we had slightly restricted visibility towards the back of the stalls, but that was Ticketmaster's fault, who's description of the seats was a little misleading. The price was Â£26.00, which is reasonable, but ticket prices range from Â£12.50 to Â£45.00.
The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus. The play starts at 8.00pm (Monday to Saturday) and 4.00pm on Saturday and 3.00pm on Tuesday and runs for 2 hours and 5 minutes including one interval.
More Alfred Hitchcock Films
Other Interesting Plays in The West End Theatres
Something a bit different...
The play, England People Very Nice, is on at The National Theatre, Oliver, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX. Set in Bethnal Green and watches the arrival of various ethnic minorities, over the centuries and the difficulties experienced by each wave of immigrants. Funny and thought provoking.