Theatre group promises perfect blend of Hitchcock and hilarity

Theatre group promises perfect blend of Hitchcock and hilarity

By Michael Upton | 02/05/2018

Theatre group promises perfect blend of Hitchcock and hilarity

AN AMATEUR theatre group is bringing one of Britain’s best-loved chase dramas to life on the stage — with a comic twist.

Wombwell Thespians are staging a comedy revamp of John Buchan’s The 39 Steps at Wombwell’s Playhouse Theatre from tomorrow (Thursday) until Saturday

Patrick Barlow’s Olivier-award winning comedy adaptation of the original 1915 novel by John Buchan — which was also memorably filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935 — played for nine years in London’s West End, gathering rave reviews.

Set in the build-up to the First World War 1, it follows the antics of Richard Hannay who is involuntarily involved in a spy caper that takes him from London to Scotland and back again, trying to prevent important secrets being taken out of the country that could harm the security of the nation. 

Throughout his travels, he engages with a whole host of characters, from the stereotypical femme fatale to bungling cops, foreign spies, Scottish hoteliers and a variety of others. 

Highlights include a chase on the Flying Scotsman, the Escape on the Forth Bridge, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and a death-defying finale at The London Palladium — all recreated on the Playhouse stage in Wombwell.

Director Jeff Tiler said: “My wife and I saw the play a few years ago at Keswick and thought it was one of the best productions we had ever seen and the first chance we got we should have a go at it.

“It is quite a minimal set but when you take into account we have quite limited space and quite a lot of props we have had to be quite versatile and creative.

“We hope the blend of comedy and Hitchcock will attract people and it’s something they are really going to enjoy.

“There are also 120 lighting effects and 130 sound effects so it’s quite different to anything we’ve done before.”

Tickets priced £8 are available on 07763 986722 or online at