Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Thirty-Nine Steps at IRT (Read the Book, Too!)

The 39 Steps, the Tony Award-winning play adapted by Patrick Barlow, based upon an original concept by Simon Corble and Nobby Dimon, began its run at the Indiana Repertory Theatre on April 20 and will be playing through May 13, 2011.  Remaining show dates include May 6, 10, 11, 12, and 13.  It is billed as a combination of Alfred Hitchcock, who directed the 1935 movie version, and Monty Python's Flying Circus (BBC Television series, 1969-1974).  That should deliver plenty of laughs and excitement.  If you have never seen a stage production of this mystery/suspense story, now is your chance.  Don't miss it.

Sarah Nealis as Annabella in The 39 Steps, now playing at IRT

Did you know that The Thirty-Nine Steps was first a novel before its stage and screen adaptations?  Scottish writer John Buchan presented his mystery/suspense novel The Thirty-Nine Steps in 1915, during World War I's first years.  Buchan wrote the book while bedridden--recovering from a duodenal ulcer--and its success skyrocketed the author to the heights of literary popularity.  It was the first of five novels featuring Richard Hannay, an action-adventure character whose aplomb, pluckiness, and ingenuity enabled him to escape a continuous series of difficult situations.

Buchan characterized 39 Steps as a "shocker" novel, in which the story's events were so improbable that readers would have to be willing to suspend disbelief and engage the adventure.  Readers were certainly willing and able to join the fun.  The book was eventually adapted for plays, motion pictures, and television programs. The most famous movie adaptation was undoubtedly director Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 version starring Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll.  The movie helped define the thriller genre and introduced a new generation to Buchan's work.

Our book trailer gives a hint of what to expect.

The novel is nearly a century old, but it holds up well and delivers sufficient excitement, adventure, and intrigue to keep the reader turning pages until the end.

If you have an Evergreen Indiana library card, you may place a hold on the book.  Click here or here for copies in the E.I. catalog.

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