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The 39 Steps

By John Buchan and Alfred Hitchcock
Adapted By Patrick Barlow
From An Original Concept By Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon
By Arrangement With Edward Snape For Fiery Angel

Postponed 25th to 28th March 2020 (Covid19)

Planned For March 2021 (Canceled Again)

39 Steps Poster.jpg

We are sorry to announce that the Riding Mill Drama Club has, reluctantly, decided to postpone our March 2020 production of ‘The 39 Steps’.
In view of the current Coronavirus outbreak, we could not go ahead.
The work that has been put in by Peter Woodward, the cast and the backstage crew has been fantastic. We do not want to lose it all and so we proposed to reschedule the performances to March, 2021,

But unfortunately this was again canceled due to Covid.

As ever, thank you!

Best wishes 

In 1915 John Buchan wrote a novelette entitled "The 39 Steps" which is regarded by many as the forerunner of the modern thriller. 

In 1935 Alfred Hitchcock made a  film of the same name, with many of the trademark features of a classic Hitchcock production. 

Barlow's script is essentially a parody of the film with a generous sprinkling of spoof, satire and general mayhem. 

There is humour, crime, intrigue, deception, adventure, courage, romance and more. 

The main protagonist, Richard Hannay, is initially bored with life, but events soon overtake him and he finds himself on the run from both police and criminals, desperately seeking the answer to the question "What are the 39 Steps?" in an effort to clear his name. 

Barlow's adaptation was originally conceived for the stage with a cast or four, with actors playing a multitude of roles.  RMDC's production will have a considerably larger cast, making use of it's members' varied talents.  

About The Play

The 39 Steps is a parody adapted from the 1915 novel by John Buchan and the 1935 film by Alfred Hitchcock. The original concept and production of a four-actor version of the story was by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon.

Patrick Barlow rewrote this adaptation in 2005.



  • 6 Time TONY AWARD Nominee in 2008! - Best Play, Best Director, Best Costume Design, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design (winner), Best Sound Design(winner).

  • WINNER! 2008 DRAMA DESK AWARD for Unique Theatrical Experience

  • 2009 MOLIERE FRANCE Best Comedy


Rachel Armstrong

Marian Blackett

Jean Buckley

Frances Hewitt

Anne Lawrence

Ian Lockey

Gabriel MacQueen

Jake Robinson

Angela Routledge

Mike Routledge

Barbara Siddle

Mike Smith    

Production Team

Rob Alcock

Colin Craig-Gilby

Pat Harvey

Diana Linnett

Matt Osmond

Mike Pritchard

Mary Ryder

Judy Wilthew

Peter Woodward

And Others


About The Author John Buchan


He was born in Perth. His father was a minister of the Free Church of Scotland; and in 1876 the family moved to Fife where in order to attend the local school the small boy had to walk six miles a day. Later they moved again to the Gorbals in Glasgow and John Buchan went to Hutchesons' Grammar School, Glasgow University (by which time he was already publishing articles in periodicals) and Brasenose College, Oxford. His years at Oxford - 'spent peacefully in an enclave like a monastery' - nevertheless opened up yet more horizons and he published five books and many articles, won several awards including the Newdigate Prize for poetry and gained a First. His career was equally diverse and successful after university and, despite ill-health and continual pain from a duodenal ulcer, he played a prominent part in public life as a barrister and Member of Parliament, in addition to being a writer, soldier and publisher. In 1907 he married Susan Grosvenor, and the marriage was supremely happy. They had one daughter and three sons. He was created Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield in 1935 and became the fifteenth Governor-General of Canada, a position he held until his death in 1940. 'I don't think I remember anyone,' wrote G. M. Trevelyan to his widow, 'whose death evoked a more enviable outburst of sorrow, love and admiration.'

John Buchan's first success as an author came with Prester John in 1910, followed by a series of adventure thrillers, or 'shockers' as he called them, all characterized by their authentically rendered backgrounds, romantic characters, their atmosphere of expectancy and world-wide conspiracies, and the author's own enthusiasm. There are three main heroes: Richard Hannay, whose adventures are collected in The Complete Richard Hannay; Dickson McCunn, the Glaswegian provision merchant with the soul of a romantic, who features in Huntingtower, Castle Gay and The House of the Four Winds; and Sir Edward Leithen, the lawyer who tells the story of John MacNab and Sick Heart River, John Buchan's final novel. In addition, John Buchan established a reputation as an historical biographer with such works as Montrose, Oliver Cromwell and Augustus.

From Amazon

Click below to go to the Photo Gallery (Google Pictures)

For all the Play Pictures (after performances).

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