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  • Writer's pictureDownsview Players

Homage to Hitchcock performed by Downsview Players

A comedy thriller based on Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps is being performed by south London theatre group the Downsview Players on the 18th, 19th and 20th May.

Two women laugh as a man makes a speech captured in a scene from comedy thriller The 39 Steps.
Richard Hannay (Dan Carr) makes an impromptu speech as Mrs Dunwoody (Michele Charles, left) and Mrs McQuarrie (Elaine Walsh) listen. Photo: Lis Parham

Written by Patrick Barlow, the play is being performed at Downsview Methodist Church, Waddington Way, Upper Norwood.

The story, set in 1935, sees the lead Richard Hannay on the run from the law following a murder. In a bid to clear his name, he follows a string of clues to solve a plot to smuggle top secret defence documents out of the country during a time of heightened tensions and rumours of imminent war.

Two actors from The 39 Steps stand on a stage, handcuffed together, as one explains why he is innocent of a crime.
A chance encounter for Pamela Edwards (Ella Pitt) sees her drawn into Hannay's story. Photo: Lis Parham

Director Amanda Perry said she had chosen The 39 Steps as it was a humorous version of the classic Hitchcock movie. Plus, she's managed to involve pretty much all of the Players.

She said: “It’s a thrilling tale but because there are so many scenes. Even with the Players doubling up on the parts, we've got a cast of 20!
"It’s been quite a challenge, but everyone has worked really hard to pull this off. I hope the audience have as much fun as we’ve had rehearsing this adaptation of The 39 Steps.”

Dan Carr, who plays Richard Hannay, said he had enjoyed playing the role which had many different challenges.

He said: “I’ve had so many lines to learn as I’m in almost every scene plus the role has been

physically challenging, whether it’s climbing over stiles or through windows and even scaling

the Forth Bridge. I’ve had to perform all my own stunts as I was told by the director that there

sadly wasn’t a budget for a body double!”

Four actors dressed as policemen chase the lead actor as he hangs from a ladder balanced across two other ladders in a scene from The 39 Steps.
The cast work together to recreate a daring escape on The Forth Bridge. L-R: Sam McCartney, Emma Payne, Dan Carr, Mark Payne and Ceri-Lee Bromfield. Photo: Lis Parham

Money raised from the Players' cake sale during the performances will be donated to Croydon Refugee Day Centre, based at West Croydon Baptist Church in Whitehorse Road, which

offers practical assistance and support to asylum seekers and refugees.

There are four performances at Downsview Methodist Church Hall, Waddington Way, SE19

3XH: evening performances start at 8pm on 18th, 19th and 20th May with a matinee

performance at 2pm on 20th May. Tickets can be booked here.

This production of The 39 Steps was adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan, from the movie by Alfred Hitchcock, licensed by ITV Global Entertainment Ltd. and an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

  • The Players’ autumn production will be Florian Zeller’s award-winning play, The Father, from 23 to 25 November. Auditions are on 30 and 31 May and 6 June. More information on the auditions will be posted on Facebook.

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