THE third play in the Bath Theatre Royal summer season recreates the famous crop-duster chase in Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest on stage from Friday 21st July to Saturday 12th August.
The adaptation of Ernest Lehman’s screenplay by Carolyn Burns was first seen in Australia in 2015. The Bath production is directed by Simon Phillips with a soundscape by Ian McDonald. After Bath, it goes across the Atlantic to the Canada.
Hitchcock’s classic film is famous for its epic chase scenes, including a close shave with a crop-dusting plane and a treacherous climb across the faces of Mount Rushmore – so you might ask how could it possibly be performed live on stage? Every twist, every thrill and every hairsbreadth escape is retained in this theatrical spectacular in which the magic of film and theatre collide on stage.
It uses a combination of cinematic green-screen techniques, video projection, scale models and good old-fashioned theatrical wizardry to bring the story thrillingly to life.
Roger O. Thornhill (the role played in the film by Bristol’s Cary Grant) is a suave and successful advertising executive, abducted by thugs who insist he is a man called George Kaplan. There’s obviously been a mix up. When they don’t believe him, it’s infuriating. When they try to kill him, it’s frightening. But when they pin a murder on him it’s time to run.
Leading the Bath company of 12 actors is Canadian Jonathan Watton as Thornhill. British actor Gerald Kyd plays sophisticated spy and evil ringleader, Vandamm (originally played by James Mason), Abigail McKern plays Roger’s meddling mother Mrs Thornhill, with Joanna Van Kampen in a host of roles.
For details of performances telephone 01225 448844 or visit the website, www.theatreroyal.org.uk