TAKE four energetic and versatile actors, an adventure story by John Buchan, an iconic Alfred Hitchcock film, a buffed-up adaptation by the National Theatre of Brent and a hardworking backstage team, and you just might have a sensational version of The 39 Steps.
Sean Driver, Chrissy Mumford, Mark Payne and Ben Woof, are on stage at the Swan in Yeovil this week performing this priceless pastiche, into which director Brian Williams has added his own extra bits of humour, which I won’t spoil by telling you about.
Mr Payne is Richard Hannay … and everyone else is everyone else. That means policemen, detectives, spies, excruciating Scottish innkeepers, farmers, political activists, German lunatics, peculiar Palladium artistes, a sheriff miles out of his milieu, aviators … all they missed was the bleating sheep.
Together they risk certain death climbing on the Forth Bridge, survive a freezing night in the glen (and a far more frightening set of accents), escape desperate criminals, get out from under a corpse and discover that faith can move windows.
It’s a hilarious romp, all the more delightful because of the energy and inspiration of its telling, and its acting.
I can’t say get a ticket, because they are all sold out. But it’s huge fun and congratulations to all concerned.
Photographs by Pauline Dagnell