And this month we have some great news. Next week on June 1 and 2, Theatrix, in cooperation with Shanti Lodge, Underwood Art Factory, HeadStart International School and The Phuket News, is performing The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow at the Underwood Art Factory at 7pm. I’ll give ticket information at the end of the article, but first I want to tell you about this delightful show.
While working on this fun and fast-paced show, I began to imagine how it first came about. Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon were having some drinks in an English pub in Brent, a northwest borough of London, with their friend, playwright Patrick Barlow. They were discussing movies and got to talking about Alfred Hitchcock’s illustrious career.
Simon: If you ask me, Hitchcock’s greatest movie was The 39 Steps.
Nobby: What’re you on about? What about Psycho, North by Northwest, Vertigo?
(A slight slur could be noted in their speech...)
Patrick: I agree in part with Simon. Hitchcock’s career really took off with 39 Steps. That’s what got him to Hollywood and the rest is cinema… cinematog… cinematic history.
Simon: Yeah, that’s what I mean. See, Nobby, ya Nob?
Nobby: All right, all right. Paddy, you’re a play… writer… why don’t you make it a play?
Patrick: Oh, I couldn’t do that. There are so many things you can’t do onstage: chases, trains, bridges, the Scottish highlands, London’s West End. Not to mention oodles of characters.
Nobby: That’s the fun of it. Do it with…
Simon: …four actors!
Patrick: Well, that could be interesting. How would you…
And so forth. The result was what I have heard called Monty Python meets Alfred Hitchcock.
Tony Edwards, keen member of Theatrix and a quarter of the 39 Steps cast, wrote further:
“The 2005 play is a parody on the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. In 2008 the play was nominated for the Tony Award for best new play.
“The concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film of the same name to be performed with a cast of only four. The film’s serious spy story is played mainly for laughs with a script rife with allusions to (and puns of the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films.
“My three partners in crime and I will have the privilege of performing this hilarious play at one of the most beautiful and unique spaces in Phuket. The Underwood Art Factory is a combination factory/gallery/restaurant/ performance venue. Really, you could just walk around for hours looking at it. It’s located on the bypass road right next door to Ikea.”
Thanks for that, Tony. We’re very excited to be presenting this play, which is fun for all ages, particularly about nine years old and up. From the first moments to the very end, there are comic situations, non-stop action and one surprise after another.
We four actors play a total of 30 main characters! I love plays with small and large casts, but in a place like Phuket where people are often rather transient, it is difficult to assemble a larger cast. We did Romeo and Juliet in 2016 with a cast of 30 and it was not easy to pull off. So a play like this with lots of characters and few actors was just perfect for us. We’re having the time of our lives.
Theatrix has worked closely with a number of wonderful venues around Phuket, namely HeadStart International School, The Book Cafe, The Green Man, Chalong Bay Distillery, Royal Phuket Marina, Shanti Lodge and more, and I’ve always dreamed of doing something at Underwood ever since I first saw the place. The Underwoods have been great partners, and we think this is going to be our best show to date.
Our vision is that we will continue delivering plays, both small and big, scripted and improv, to the island from our two present bases: Shanti Lodge and Underwood Art Factory. We’d love for you to become part of our growing family of actors and audiences.
There will be two performances: June 1 and 2. Tickets are available for B400 for adults reserved in advance, B500 at the door, B350 for children 12 and under. Reduced prices are also available for groups and schools. You can buy tickets at Shanti Lodge, Underwood Art Factory and Serenity Resort. Alternatively, to reserve tickets, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 093-6490066.
We hope you can make it. It’s going to be a fun and funny evening.
Joel Adams is building a vibrant theatre community right here in Phuket. You can contact him using the details above. Facebook: Theatrix Group